Sunday, July 21, 2019

Man Utd´s Evra targets remedy for four years of pain – (SN)

Manchester United defender Patrice Evra is desperate to pick up a Champions League winners medal in Moscow to erase four years of pain.

The 27-year-old France leftback has not recovered from the bitter experience of losing the 2004 final when Monaco were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Porto in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

Evra does not want to suffer the same fate again when United face Premier League rivals Chelsea in next Wednesday's showpiece final in the Russian capital.

He also wants to emerge triumphant next week as he believes United's legendary long-serving manager Alex Ferguson deserves to win club football's biggest prize a second time.

Ferguson won the competition in 1999 and, despite steering United to five domestic titles since then, has been forced to play second fiddle to his rivals on the European stage.

“Since I lost the final it's been in my mind every day,” said Evra. “That's why, when I signed for Man United, I said in my first interview I just want to play in the Champions League and win to cancel this bad memory with Monaco.

“It's my second final but I can't just play this game. I need to win this game because it's very important for Manchester United because it's a long time since 1999.

“And I want to win for Alex Ferguson. It's just his second final in the Champions League and I think a manager like that deserves to win it more than once.

“This is why I hope that everyone gets the present for him, out of respect for what he has done for Manchester United.

“I think it's very important for everybody but of course for the manager it's important.

“In 20 years at Manchester United he has won ten titles, but I think it's very important for him.

Evra believes the key ingredient to winning the final is fighting spirit and is confident that United can leave Chelsea disappointed for the second time in the space of a few days after beating the London club to the title last week.

“Chelsea are a big team, it's a massive game and I think the team that wins the Champions League will be the team that plays with the most fighting spirit,” added Evra.

“I hope we show that we have more character than Chelsea. We have to go there and play your game and enjoy the moment because it's unbelievable to play in the Champions League.”

Evra has one year left on his contract but, despite rumours that United have been stalling on offering him a new deal, he insists he is as happy as he has ever been in his career.

It is two-and-a-half-years since United paid Monaco 5.5 million pounds for his services and Evra is now settled in the footballer belt of Manchester's leafy suburbs.

“When I came here a lot of people told me football in England is just 'kick the ball away', but now I just laugh because the football is the best in the world.

“I have one year left on my contract but I am just concentrating on the final. I have an agent and Manchester United know my situation. A meeting is coming, but for now I'm concentrating on winning the Champions League.”

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