Patrice Evra

Patrice names 'most annoying' opponent

Thursday 18 November 2021 10:00

Manchester United legend Patrice Evra has named the ‘most annoying’ opponent he came up against during his near 20-year career – and it’s not necessarily someone you’d expect.

Patrice played over 350 games for United, between 2006 and 2014, and also racked up 81 appearances for France.

Evra turned out for Monaco and Juventus too, among others, and featured in five Champions League finals, meaning he knows all about tricky, headache-causing wingers.

The likes of Lionel Messi, Arjen Robben and Gareth Bale all lined up on the right wing for the opposition when Patrice started at left-back for the Reds, but our former no.3 opted for another name when explaining who posed most problems.

Evra was philosophical, at first, in his reply to a question posed in the second part of our Fans’ Q&A, asking him about his best opponent: “The best player I played against it was Patrice [Evra]. I was my worst enemy, because I never feared anyone.

Fans' Q&A: Part two with 'Uncle Pat' Video

Fans' Q&A: Part two with 'Uncle Pat'

The second half of Patrice's brilliant interview is available to view now...

“I was just like when I wasn’t in a good day, I knew anyone could beat me. But, most of the time, I was in a good day.”

Patrice quickly shifted focus on to a familiar face, who is still plying his trade in the Premier League almost two decades since his debut.

“The toughest one?” Evra added. “It’s not the toughest one but the most annoying one was James Milner.

“People always expect me to say another one but James Milner and the reason was because he was always defending more than myself.

“I’m someone, I’m an attacking defender, so he frustrated me so much because he was following me everywhere.

“Even if I was going in the toilet, he was going to follow me. I would say the most annoying is James Milner.”

Patrice Evra tussles with James Milner.

The ex-England midfielder first crossed paths with Evra while at Newcastle, during the 2006/07 season.

United beat the Magpies at Old Trafford in what would be the first of 21 head-to-heads between the pair – only former Chelsea keeper Petr Cech lined up against Patrice more often during his career.

Milner later moved to Aston Villa, but it was during a five-year spell at Manchester City where he became a real nemesis for Evra.

Aged 35 now, Milner is still playing at the top level for Liverpool, although he tends to feature as a central midfielder or a back-up option for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson at full-back these days.