Patrice answers your questions!
Manchester United legend Patrice Evra was his typical humorous and cheeky self recently when answering supporters' questions, during a night-time appearance out on the Old Trafford pitch.
Patrice has been in the news recently with the launch of his autobiography I Love This Game, and the Frenchman was asked to give a flavour of the type of tales that could be found in the book, for those who have not yet read it.
The 40-year-old also touched upon his relationship with 'best friend' Ji-sung Park, and what he would serve up if former team-mate and current Reds hero Cristiano Ronaldo was a dinner guest.
We'll be serving up our latest Fans' Q&A in two parts, and you can read and watch the first half, starting with six questions asked by our loyal fans in China, below...
Can you please tell us about the intensity of the day to day training at United? Did you find it hard to adapt in the first few weeks? (Li Yang, China)
“Oh yes. It was different to the football I used to play in France. Playing in the Premier League and for Man United, I think first you need a lot of gym sessions and to feel strong before you play with your feet. Yeah, it was completely different and my team-mates were laughing at me because I never played with studs. I always played with normal boots. They put some water on the pitch before I started training to make the ball go faster so it was a massive difference. The intensity. It was short, maybe like an hour training session, but it was really, really intense, so it was a massive difference and I had to adapt.”
How did you become so close with Ji-sung Park? (Liu Yiming, China)
“Because I like shy people! When someone doesn’t open himself up too much, that’s when I go to those people. Ji is the godfather to my son, he’s more than a friend. I spoke with him actually this morning so it just came naturally. He’s such a humble person but he’s also a funny guy. You don’t see that side, because he only shows it to me. He’s a real brother.”
Do you still remember how you felt when you were handed the captain's armband by Sir Alex Ferguson for the first time? (Wu Jiang, China)
“I remember it was in a Champions League game against Wolfsburg. We were at a dinner and before I went to my room he stopped me and said: ‘Tomorrow, you’re the captain.’ I was like ‘what?’ I said ‘let me think about it’. He said ‘go in your room for **** sake.’
If you were to invite Cristiano Ronaldo to your house, what food would you cook him? (Wu Jinjie, China)
“Oh my God! [laughs] Salad, still water, no bread, no butter! We’re going to be in the gym, definitely. Yeah, a really sad, sad meal. A boring one, yeah. And he will be happy!”
I love you as a player and pundit as much as you love the game. Have you got a plan to be a coach or manager in the future? (Yang Bin, China)
“I finished my coaching license and it would be selfish for me not to share my knowledge about football one day. But right now I am in a happy place in my life and being a footballer is like being on holiday. You train and go home, but being manager is a different game. It’s a 24-hour job. Some legends think they’re going to be great managers because they’ve been great players. I’m being honest with myself, I don’t want to commit myself 100 per cent right now as a coach so we’ll see. It may come one day but right now I’m doing stuff that makes me more happy than being a coach.”
Congratulations on your autobiography. Please can you tell us your most interesting story from your book? (Chen Bin, China)
“I think all the stories are interesting, so it’s difficult to pick one story. I think the beginning, the one where I signed my first professional contract and joined the team in Italy. I had a tracksuit on my bed and I wore it and I was in the mirror looking at myself. My team-mates were waiting for me for dinner and I saw the people serving the food. It was like three forks on one side, three knives on the other side and I came back and I called my mum and said: ‘Mum, I made it! This is heaven. We are all wearing the same tracksuit, people are serving us food…’ Those kinds of stories, it’s mainly that in my book.”
If you could play with any United legend during their prime, who would it be? (Stephanie)
“Stephanie... it’s a difficult question, we have a lot… Cantona, Ryan Giggs... Ryan Giggs is the one.”
What made you want to be a footballer? (Oliver)
“It’s just the joy when I was kicking a ball around, since I was like five years old. It’s the passion. It’s nothing about being famous. I didn’t even know footballers could earn money, I didn’t even know it was a job. It’s just a passion, enjoying playing football, you know? Playing in the street was making me more happy than playing for any professional club because it was real, without any pressure. It’s just the joy.”
Look out for the second part of our chat with Pat, coming on Thursday.