Best of Africa

Manchester United legend Evra explains decision to represent France over Senegal

09:40 SAST 2022/04/02
Patrice Evra 2021
The 40-year-old opted to play for Les Bleus whereby he went on to participate in three Euros as well as two World Cups

Manchester United legend Patrice Evra has revealed his choice to represent France over several African nations was natural owing to the fact that he had been brought up within the setting of the former.

The versatile defender had other options such as playing for Senegal since he was born in Dakar. He could have also played for Cape Verde because that is where his mother hailed from, or even through his father's origin to play for Guinea.

However, it was not the case; the now 40-year-old opted to play for Les Bleus where he went on to play in several major competitions including the World Cup.

"That is why I said to all the footballers to carefully pick their national team," Evra told Arise News, as quoted by All Nigeria Soccer.

"I was born in Senegal. I could play for Senegal or France, I spoke with my parents.

"I grew up in France, my choice was natural to play for France because you just think about playing with the big players but actually it is just politics.

"Like you said when you win with France you are a French player when you lose suddenly you get your Senegalese passport, so that's why when you make your decision you have to be really careful on all of that."

The former defender visited Lagos, Nigeria to show support for a chess initiative.

During a 20-year playing career, Evra represented some of Europe's biggest clubs, including Manchester United, Juventus, Monaco, Nice and Marseille.

He won 21 major trophies during his career, including five Premier League titles, three EFL Cups and the 2007-08 Champions League during his spell at Manchester United.

His move to Juventus in 2014 also yielded silverware as he won Serie A and the Coppa Italia in successive seasons.

On the international scene, the left-back represented France 81 times after making his senior debut for Les Bleus in August 2004.