Evra could come face to face with his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, now terrorising defences in La Liga. The narrative of a hero returning to face his old club is difficult to ignore, but Evra is keen for it not to dominate the tale, nor provide a happy ending for his good friend.
“We have already been texting each other,” Patrice says of Ronaldo. “I hope he will get a great ovation from our fans because what he did for United was unbelievable. I miss him too.
"We have played against Ronny many times in training, and me and Rafa know what he can do. He is a top-class player. For me, he is the best player in the world. He will be a tough opponent but we have to make sure we are friends out of the pitch, and enemies on it! It will be emotional for Ronny because he loves Manchester United. I hope the emotion will get to him. That will be perfect for us.”
What Ronaldo does or does not do at the Santiago Bernabeu will be up to the likes of Evra and Rafael to control, but on his return to Old Trafford next month Patrice says there is one way fans can help contain him.
“We don’t have to wind him up before this game because when he is angry he is at his best,” he says, before joking: “So, let’s just be nice. We can say, ‘Welcome home, Ronny. It’s so nice to have you back, we love you, you are the best player’. We can kill him with love!”