Evra vows to re­turn stronger

The New Age (Northern Cape) - - SPORT -

PA­TRICE Evra has vowed to come back “stronger than ever” in his first pub­lic mes­sage since leav­ing Mar­seille and be­ing hit with a sea­son­long Euro­pean foot­ball ban for “kung­fu kicking” a club sup­porter.

Evra, who was sent off af­ter at­tack­ing the Mar­seille fan ahead of the Ligue 1 side’s 1­0 Europa League de­feat to Vi­to­ria Guimaraes on Novem­ber 2, made the promise while haul­ing a Jeep in a light­hearted In­sta­gram post filmed in Dubai by for­mer Ar­se­nal and Chelsea striker Ni­co­las Anelka, who Evra nick­named “Spiel­berg” in the post.

“I swear to God I will come back stronger than ever,” said the for­mer France and Manch­ester U left­back.

“Some­times in life you can feel re­ally heavy but you al­ways have to keep smil­ing, and of course keep lov­ing this game.”

The 36 year old’s ban only ap­plies to Uefa club com­pe­ti­tions, mean­ing that he could still play in a do­mes­tic league should a club ap­proach him.

Evra, who has won five Pre­mier ti­tles, two Serie A championships and the Cham­pi­ons League, parted ways with Mar­seille on Satur­day, al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter be­ing banned from Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion and fined ¤10 000 (R168 650).

Evra lashed out in re­sponse to a group of sup­port­ers that had come to the pitch side to be­rate him for what they con­sid­ered sub­par dis­plays on the south coast of France.

On Sun­day Mar­seille goal­keeper Steve Mandanda backed his for­mer team­mate, say­ing that Evra was a “true friend and a good guy”, while France coach Di­dier Deschamps de­scribed his pun­ish­ment as “heavy”.

The club’s Amer­i­can owner Frank McCourt blamed both player and fans for the in­ci­dent, call­ing it “un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour” and “not some­thing we can tol­er­ate at Mar­seille”.

Evra’s dis­missal from Mar­seille also came af­ter sup­port­ers un­furled a huge ban­ner be­fore their home match with Caen last week that read: “We don’t want you in our colours any more. Evra get lost.”

STRONGER THAN EVER: For­mer Mar­seille de­fender Pa­trice Evra.

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