From free kick to Kung Fu to dragging an SUV, Evra does it all

By: Josey Samuel
Patrice Evra

Terrassa (Barcelona), November 15: Patrice Evra is a tough nut to crack. The French footballer has been going through one of the toughest moments of his career after being suspended last week for kicking a fan of his own club Olympique Marseille during the Europa League away tie against Vitoria.

The French club dismissed the 36-year-old defender (terminated the contract with mutual consent) and UEFA banned him from playing until the end of the season.

The whole episode seems not to have changed Evra, who shared a video through social networks showing his extreme training.

In the recording, Evra drags an SUV with one of his friends on top. The footballer comments that "I feel blessed. Happy ", predicting that he will return" stronger than ever "after his sanction.

Evra, the left-back for Marseille, gave a Kung Fu kick to a fan of his own team after an altercation at the Afonso Henriques stadium in Portugal’s Guimaraes before the start of the Europa League match.

After learning of the incident, the Hungarian referee Tamás Bognar expelled the veteran, reducing Marseille to ten players.

It all started during the warm-up of Marseille just before the start of the match when the fans took it with Evra, who was not going to be a starter, when insults and critical chants about his previous performances were directed at him for half an hour, said a report in Mundo Deportivo.

At first Evra, kept his cool but later crossed the athletics track that separates the playing field from the stands to ask for explanations before leading to an altercation.

The former Manchester United player verbally confronted them and finally lost his cool and kicked at the face of a fan who was on the other side of the advertising hoardings. His team-mates and stewards had to intervene to restore calm.

The scene recalled the famous Kung Fu kick from another former French and United star Eric Cantona, on January 23, 1995, in a Premier League match with Crystal Palace. Cantona headed to the stands and assaulted a local supporter who rebuked him after being expelled.

Cantona and Evra are not the only Frenchmen to be in spotlight for wrong reasons while on the pitch. Real Madrid legend and 1998 World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane was given marching orders in the final of the 2006 World Cup against Italy for head-butting Marco Materazzi.

But unlike his elite countrymen, Evra had a history of skirmishes on and off the field. Prominent among them was during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when the left-back led the 'Bleus' riot against coach Raymond Domenech.

Born in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, but raised in the Parisian suburb of Ulis, Evra has been characterized by his volcanic character and outspoken statements against former players and journalists, but also known for his tremendous strength of will and commitment that helped him to be successful at world’s leading clubs.

Evra kicked off his professional career with Monaco (2002-2006) before joining Manchester United (2006-2014) and Juventus of Turin (2014-2016). He played five Champions League finals, winning the top medal in one of them with United (2008) against Chelsea at Moscow.

Every time he was written off, Evra has come back strongly. Though, the age is not on his side, this time also, it would be impossible to write off a determined Evra.

Story first published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 9:57 [IST]
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