World Cup: France defender Patrice Evra shrugs off 'bad boy' image
Last Updated: 20/06/14 11:42am
Experienced defender Patrice Evra claims to be unfazed by his portrayal as a 'bad boy' by the French media.
The Manchester United full-back is still paying the price for the part he played in a now infamous player revolt at the 2010 World Cup.
He was accused of being one of the ringleaders in South Africa, as coach Raymond Domenech lost control and France tumbled out of the tournament in disgrace at the group stage.
Evra has been punished for his role in proceedings, with the French Football Federation hitting him with a five-match ban.
The 33-year-old has worked his way back into the fold, though, under Laurent Blanc and Didier Deschamps and claims he is fully committed to a happy camp.
If I’m viewed as a bad boy in the media, it doesn’t bother me. The problem is if I say a lot of good things about the squad, I’m criticising the predecessors.
He said ahead of a meeting with Switzerland at the 2014 World Cup on Friday: “I’ve never had any problem with the French fans, they have always been good to me.
“The most important thing is what my team-mates, the staff, my loved ones and the fans think.
“If I’m viewed as a bad boy in the media, it doesn’t bother me.
“The problem is if I say a lot of good things about the squad, I’m criticising the predecessors.
“I’ve been in a lot of squads but this one is scary because everything is going well.
“At the dinner table, certain players say, ‘Pat, imagine if we all played together in the same club’.
“It goes to show how they don’t want this adventure to end.
“But I tell them, ‘No, we’re all playing for the same country, and that’s even more beautiful’.”
Another of those to have embraced the changes made by France is Karim Benzema, with the Real Madrid striker of the opinion that Deschamps has helped to get the best out of him.
He said: “It’s a new team, a new era and a team full of talent that can do something at this World Cup.
“I think I can still improve. I’m feeling full of confidence, I’m injury-free and you have to make the most of it.”