Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra made a surprise return to the football pitch over the weekend as he turned out for Brentham FC – a club currently playing in the 11th tier of English football.
Evra, who stopped playing professionally in 2019, played as a left winger and was wearing the number 11 shirt for the match which saw North Greenford United triumph 3-2.
The Frenchman’s cameo was filmed by a number of shocked spectators with his own team-mates left pinching themselves after sharing the pitch with a Champions League winner.
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Evra took to social after the match to thank Brentham for letting him play and joked that he hope he made Ryan Giggs proud by wearing the number 11 shirt.
“Thanks for letting me playing with you guys. Such a good day, don’t worry Giggsy I honoured your number the best I could,” Evra tweeted.
— Patrice Evra (@Evra) August 30, 2020
— Stan cargill (@stan_cargill) August 29, 2020
— Brentham FC (@BrenthamFc1919) August 29, 2020
Evra, who wore the captain’s armband for the game, was also filmed on the bench by a team-mate after being substituted and joked: “I’m not tired, it’s my toes from Senegal you know, in Europe I’m 39, but in Africa I’m 57!”
— #2 (@RasclartRico) August 29, 2020
Brentham clarified after the game that Evra’s surprise cameo was the result of the Frenchman seeking some match fitness before playing in Soccer Aid next month.
Evra has been a regular participant in the charity match organised in support of UNICEF, with this year’s match to take place at Old Trafford with fellow former Red Devil Wayne Rooney set to manage England’s side.
During his time at Manchester United, Evra won five Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008. His move to Juventus in 2014 also yielded silverware as he won Serie A and the Coppa Italia in successive seasons.
After announcing his playing retirement, the Frenchman signalled his intent to become a manager when the time is right.
“I started training for the UEFA B Coaching License in 2013, now I want to finish it and then go on to get the UEFA A license,” Evra said in 2019.
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“Sir Alex Ferguson said two of my players will be great managers and he mentioned me and Ryan Giggs. It was a big compliment.
“I don’t want to do it straight away so I will work in TV and with my brand. I need maybe another year to enjoy life after so many sacrifices before becoming a manager.
“I know I can do it. I can’t dedicate myself 100 per cent right now.”
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