Patrice Evra has been fortunate enough to play with some unbelievable players throughout his career and he was forced to snub some huge names in his best team-mates XI.
During an interview with Sky Sports, Evra revealed his best team-mates XI as: Edwin van der Sar, Dani Alves, Rio Ferdinand, Giorgio Chiellini, himself, Ji-Sung Park, Andrea Pirlo, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.
We’ve taken a closer look at Evra’s career and have assembled an outrageously good XI of his team-mates who were left out of his original side.
GK: Gianluigi Buffon
We can hardly hold it against Evra for selecting Van der Sar in his XI, but omitting Buffon was a bold choice. Considered by some as the greatest goalkeeper of all time, Buffon is one of a kind.
To be fair to Evra, the Italian goalkeeper was 37 years old by the time he arrived at Juventus in 2014. However, even in his later years, he was still a force to be reckoned with.
Some of Buffon’s best saves😍
Which save was the best? pic.twitter.com/8VMqpvyVV4
— Old Days Football (@OldDaysFootball) January 9, 2019
RB: Gary Neville
Sir Alex Ferguson once had to stop a training session when Evra came to blows with Neville. Following a strong challenge from the England international, Evra retaliated in the only way he could think of.
“I nearly killed Gary Neville, I’ll be honest with you. Sir Alex Ferguson stopped the training about that,” Evra said on his YouTube channel.
“So, I remember, I get the ball. Then Gary Neville comes and he tackled me. He got the ball but he got a little bit of me so I was on the floor. And I looked at him and he was standing there.
“And I said, ‘Gary, you won’t say sorry?’ He looked at me and said, ‘F**k off.’ When he said that, that’s what brought me back to the streets, the hood.
“The ball arrived to his chest. I go and run and I put my two legs into his chest. He jumped also, so I put my two legs into his chest. He did a backflip.”
The pair seem to get on these days, but it’s probably not that much of a surprise that Neville was snubbed from Evra’s original XI.
CB: Leonardo Bonucci
Evra spent two and a half years playing alongside Bonucci and the pair won five trophies in that time. Juventus were best known for their defensive stability around the mid-2010s and the Italian defender played a key role in that.
CB: Nemanja Vidic
Undoubtedly, one of the best central defenders that Evra ever played alongside. The pair won five Premier League titles together at Old Trafford, although they didn’t always see eye to eye during their time in England.
“We arrived at the same time and we struggled together. We were at the same hotel, I remember, and we were so bad at the beginning, me and him,” Evra told Manchester United’s official website.
“To be honest, we also fought. We had a fight, me and him, and didn’t speak for three months.
“We played together and we didn’t even say a word. I never told him to go left or go right. He was the same. Ferguson had to swap Rio Ferdinand to play on the left side with me.”
LB: Alex Sandro
During his time at Juventus, Evra contested the left-back spot with Sandro. The Brazilian defender still plays with the Italian club today and has picked up 10 trophies during his stint in Italy.
Sure, he could be frustrating at times, but Nani was so much fun to watch during his peak years. From dancing around defenders to his acrobatic celebrations, Nani’s showmanship made him one of a kind.
It would also be unfair to suggest that Nani didn’t have the end product to back up his flicks and tricks. In 230 games for United, the Portuguese winger produced an impressive 112 goal contributions.
CM: Paul Pogba
Evra got to play alongside arguably the best version of Pogba during his initial stint with Juventus. From 2013-2016, the French playmaker was rightly regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world.
“I do know that he felt really loved in Juventus,” Evra told the Mail on Sunday. “He doesn’t feel that love in Manchester.”
Pogba had the world at his fingertips during his Juventus days, it’s a shame things never properly clicked for him upon his return to Old Trafford.
CM: Michael Carrick
Carrick is often overlooked in these XIs, so we thought we’d show him some love. While never the flashiest of players, his role in the United set-up was crucial.
The midfielder racked up over 460 appearances for the club and won 18 trophies during that time. Given his intelligence and reading of the game, it’s no wonder he’s made an excellent coach in his post-playing career.
LM: Dimitri Payet
In an attempt to avoid this becoming a Manchester United and Juventus combined XI, we thought it was only right to include one of Evra’s team-mates from his later years.
The full-back only spent a few months with Marseille, but he did get the chance to play alongside Payet during that time. During his best years, the creative French midfielder was outperforming a lot of Europe’s top playmakers.
His goal collection from over the years is also off the charts.
Good luck saving that 🎯
— West Ham United (@WestHam) December 31, 2019
ST: Wayne Rooney
Arguably, the biggest snub from Evra’s own team-mates XI. Rooney played a key role in pretty much all of the trophies that Evra won during his time at Old Trafford.
To be fair, Evra has often spoken about Rooney in glowing terms, particularly for the way he stepped up when Ronaldo left in 2009.
“I love Wazza but I think when Cristiano left in 2009 and we played a World Tour match in Asia, that’s when I knew [the capability] of Wayne Rooney, the player he was,” Evra told FIVE.
“I think he was in the shadow of Cristiano, even if they both started well, I realized who was Wayne Rooney when Cristiano Ronaldo left.”
ST: Ruud van Nistelrooy
Evra only spent one season playing alongside the Dutch forward but still got to see the genius of Van Nistelrooy during that time.
In his final season with United, he managed to score 24 goals and played a key role in winning the League Cup. There can be little doubt that the Dutch striker ranks among the best Premier League goalscorers of all time.