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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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Patrice Evra explains why Gary Neville challenge forced training stoppage

Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has revealed how his retaliation to a tackle from Gary Neville was so bad that it forced Sir Alex Ferguson to halt the training session.

The United full-backs enjoyed five years together before the Englishman retired in 2011 with the left-back spending three more years at Old Trafford before returning to Italy for Juventus.

His challenge was so bad on the England right-back that Wayne Rooney exclaimed his national teammate ‘could’ve died’ after the incident. However, there is no bad blood between the pair and Evra has discussed his “love” for the Sky Sports pundit.

During their time together, they won four Premier League titles, three League and FA Cups and one Champions League – coming against Chelsea in 2008.

“Gary [Neville], the captain. I had such a good relationship with Gary. When I arrived he was the one coming with me, showing me around to find a house. What a great captain,” Evra recalled to talkSPORT.

“I have a funny story with Gary Neville because in the training ground one day, I get the ball, he tackled me, touched the ball but also touched my leg and I was on the floor, it was painful. I said ‘Gary, you don’t say sorry’ and he give me the F-word, I was like okay.

“The next ball, 20 seconds later, it was a long diagonal, he controlled the ball with his chest and I did a Bruce Lee movement, tackled him on his throat, nearly did a backflip and nearly broke his neck.

“So Ferguson stopped the training session, everyone was in, Wayne Rooney was like ‘Are you crazy? He could have died’ and I said: ‘next time he will say sorry’. Gary came inside the dressing room and was like: ‘Are you crazy?’ I said: ‘Gary, next time just say sorry’.

“I was calm, so they were like ok, the way this guy is calm, he is really dangerous and I get like so much respect after that. I love Gary and he loves me because the way I spoke about United.

“He was like: ‘Patrice, you’re like a Mancunian, even some people who grew up in that town, they never loved the club that much.’ Gary was really simple, if you love Man United, he will be your best friend.”

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