Patrice Evra moving on from World Cup 'scar'
Wednesday 23 March 2011
Patrice Evra concedes he will always "live with the scar" of his role in France's World Cup debacle last year but is nevertheless determined to become a positive force for Les Bleus in the future.
The Manchester United full-back was last week recalled to the national side by France boss Laurent Blanc, nine months on from captaining a squad that became overwhelmed by infighting and indiscipline in South Africa.
The revolt against former France coach Raymond Domenech left a bitter aftertaste, with Evra identified as one of five ringleaders in the disharmony and handed a five-match ban.
The 29-year-old's absence has in fact extended to the last seven international fixtures - the first of which saw Blanc select an experimental side against Norway - but he is now back in the fold as France prepare to take on Luxembourg in a Euro 2012 qualifier on Friday.
Evra, who was made France captain on the eve of last year's World Cup, is keen to distance himself from the events of last summer and "reverse the trend" of his current public persona.
"You can ask anyone, I was a good captain," said Evra. "Besides, I have been very well received (back into) the group.
"Until the World Cup, I had always behaved well. I do not think any of you had heard that Evra was creating problems.
"I think I shall always live with that scar, but I want to go ahead and build a new story, much better than the previous,
"I want to be a solution, not a problem."
Evra claims he has received "many expressions of support" during his exile from the national team, adding that his supporters "do not want (to view) me as has been written".
He added: "I want to be seen as someone who wants to invest for the future. As a single player, without status."
Confirmation of Evra's recall to Blanc's squad was followed by a meeting between the two, which the United defender claimed was "a beautiful and frank discussion".
The precise details of the chat were not divulged, but Evra admitted: "It was a dialogue, not a monologue."
The time for talking will be over come Friday night, when the table-topping French will bid for their fourth straight win in Group D after opening their campaign with a shock home defeat to Belarus in September.
Evra is likely to be drafted straight into Blanc's starting XI in the absence of Barcelona's Eric Abidal, who has undergone surgery on a liver tumour.
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