Marseille (AFP) – Patrice Evra may be 35 and struggling through a frustrating stop-start season, but the Marseille full-back insisted on Friday that his career is not yet ready for the “guillotine”.
Evra began the season at Juventus where he started most matches on the bench before moving to Marseille in January.
But he missed the whole of March with a thigh injury and only made his comeback in last week’s 0-0 draw at Toulouse.
And he insisted that talk of his demise during his injury-enforced absence was distinctly premature.
“You know, they’ve already prepared the guillotine for me, notably before the Euros,” said Evra wryly.
“I come from a family of 24 brothers and sisters where it wasn’t easy to eat every day. So now, I’m not going to put pressure on myself.”
In January, Evra made his return to France’s top flight for the first time since leaving Monaco to join Manchester United in 2006.
And he says Ligue 1 has improved from an entertainment perspective since then, although it still has some catching up to do on other leagues.
“I don’t like to say that one league is stronger than another. I’ve been lucky enough to adapt to all the leagues in which I’ve played,” said the France international left-back.
“What I can say is that in England football is tantalising, explosive — it’s a bit like a boxing match in which both fighters are looking for the knock-out.
“In Italy, it’s more like chess, everything is calculated.
“For the moment, I find French football more athletic and lacking in tactical basics, although PSG and Monaco are managing to compete with the European heavyweights.
“It’s a quality league and it will keep on improving. In my day, coaches and players, when preparing for a match, thought above all about how not to lose.
“That mentality has evolved, there’s more quality now.”
While the football in France may not quite match that in England or Italy, Marseille certainly outdoes Manchester and Turin in one domain: the weather.
“There is incredible sunshine. After having lived in Manchester and then Turin for 12 years, here it’s paradise!”