Evra - I hope Becks plays badly
Patrice Evra says he will offer David Beckham a warm welcome back to Old Trafford and then ruin his trip down memory lane.
By Lizzie Rose
Last Updated: 18/12/09 4:53pm
Manchester United defender Patrice Evra says he will offer David Beckham a warm welcome back to Old Trafford - and then ruin his trip down memory lane.
The midfielder will return to his old club in the colours of AC Milan after the two sides were drawn together in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
The meeting will be the first time the former England captain has played in front of an Old Trafford crowd against United since his memorable move to Real Madrid in 2003.
Evra was not around to see Beckham perform for the Red Devils' faithful the first time around - having joined the club two-and-a-half years after the high-profile star's departure.
However, the defender is well aware of the Englishman's status and admits that even he will be involved in the welcome-home parade.
"I am very happy for David Beckham," said the France full-back. "He did a lot of great things for Manchester United and I want to say to him "Welcome Home".
"I have met him. He is a gentleman. He is a good person and a good professional. This is why Milan wanted him to go back there.
"I like that type of player. He is still one of the best right-footed players in the world. But I hope he plays badly and I intend to make sure he doesn't do very well."
The seven-time European Cup winners have gained victory over United in all four two-legged ties between the sides, including three semi-finals.
The last one in 2007 deprived the Red Devils of a final clash with Liverpool and remains the last time they lost a European away game.
"That was a frustrating year," said Evra. "We didn't play well in the first leg, even though we won 3-2. I was suspended for the second game and watched it on TV.
"It was horrible to lose like that but after that game we had a lot more experience.
"The year afterwards we won the Champions League. The following year we reached the final. Now we are still using that experience and we have enough to win this game."
It is Beckham's much-awaited return, though, which will be the focus of the meeting between the two sides and Evra admits he is unsure whether that will benefit United.
"Who can say whether it will help or not the fact that all the focus will be on him," Evra added. "After all, when we played against Barcelona it was all Messi v Ronaldo. For us it is normal. The pressure is normal.
"I am more interested in playing against AC Milan than David Beckham.
"What I do know is that our confidence is high. For us, the target every year is to reach the final, and from there to win it."