Judging by his exploits on the pitch, some onlookers might suspect that Patrice Evra is powered by some type of internal generator. The Senegalese-born left-back covers just as much ground for Manchester United and France nullifying opposing attacks down the flank as he does offering a hand to his teams’ strikers. His footballing path began in Paris, but it was in moving away from home as a 17-year-old to Marsala in the Italian third division that his horizons were widened and his strong mental outlook was forged. He subsequently attracted the attention of Monza, operating in the division above, but only spent one season there before returning to France with Nice.
However, it was just up the coast that he would truly begin to put in performances of the highest level, playing an important part in Monaco’s exciting but ultimately unsuccessful run to the 2004 UEFA Champions League final, under the leadership of Didier Deschamps. Two years later, Evra packed his bags again, with Manchester his destination. Now in his fourth year in English football, Evra has won almost every trophy available with United, including the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Club Cup. Designated the Premier League’s most outstanding left-back for season 2006/07, he was also named in the FIFA/FIFPro World XI in 2009.
As far as France is concerned, after initially being kept out of the team by Eric Abidal, he made the left-sided defensive role his own after the 2006 FIFA World Cup™. Badly affected by Les Bleus’ disastrous UEFA Euro 2008 campaign, Evra, now 28, is hoping to taste some long-awaited success with his national team this summer. South Africa 2010 has added significance for the strong-running defender, offering him the opportunity to play on the continent of his birth.