Patrice Evra admitted on Wednesday that captaining the French team during the 2010 Knysna fiasco in South Africa which saw his team go on strike before crashing out of the FIFA World Cup™ had "consumed all of my energy".
"I took my role too much to heart, it consumed all of my energy," said Evra, one of the ringleaders of the strike when the team refused to train in protest over the French football federation's decision to send home Nicolas Anelka.
When pushed to stress the importance of forgetting one of French sport's darkest hours which occurred almost four years to the day, Evra added: "For some people who suffered, for sure. It's important that French people are proud of what happens, that's the motto of the squad and the priority is that they see the jersey is being respected."
The same 'Pat' of 2010 is the same 'Pat' of 2014.
Evra, who was banned for five matches for his role in the revolt, is no longer captain of the team, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris having inherited the armband. "It's an honourable role but it's not a priority. I was captain in 2010, it's finished," said Evra who was giving his first national team press conference for two years.
The 33-year-old Manchester United star was asked if he has mellowed over the last four years. "I love myself all the time! It's a little arrogant, but even in difficult moments and moments of joy I do not like to criticise myself. The same 'Pat' of 2010 is the same 'Pat' of 2014. I love them both."