Patrice Evra ‘will shake Luis Surez’s hand’ at Champions League final

Patrice Evra says he will shake Luis Suárez’s hand when the two players meet before the Champions League final in Berlin, but the Frenchman insists that he will make sure the Uruguayan striker “feels” him on the pitch.


This article titled “Patrice Evra ‘will shake Luis Suárez’s hand’ at Champions League final” was written by Sid Lowe, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 13th May 2015 23.00 UTC

Patrice Evra says he will shake Luis Suárez’s hand when the two players meet before the Champions League final in Berlin, but the Frenchman insists that he will make sure the Uruguayan striker “feels” him on the pitch.

The full-back departed the Bernabéu on Wednesday having reached a fifth European Cup final, with three different clubs. Waiting for him in Germany will be the side that twice beat Manchester United in the final and the man who was banned for eight games for racially abusing him while playing for Liverpool after the teams met in the Premier League in October 2011. Evra insisted that the battle between them will be restricted to the game itself.

“It doesn’t matter; the most important thing is that I play in the final,” Evra said. “I am proud to be what I am, I am proud about my colour, and I will shake his hand, it is no problem. But I will make sure he will feel me on the pitch.”

Juventus knocked out Real Madrid 3-2 on aggregate to reach the final and Evra said that the unexpected nature of that result means that while Barcelona are the favourites, Juve will travel to their first final in 12 years believing that they can beat the Catalans. The full-back described it as “David versus Goliath,” but then few expected the Italian club to even get this far.

“Of course, of course [we can beat them]”, Evra said. “They are human beings. People forget [that] on Juventus’ team [there are] a lot of players [who] have already won the Champions League. There are players who have played in [other] finals, like myself. This is my fifth final. You never know. I believe in everything because if I didn’t believe we can win against Barcelona, I would ask the manager not to play me.”

“It’s going to be a tough game, David versus Goliath. But you never know. In football anything can happen. In Monaco we had our most difficult game, and against Madrid everyone thought they would win. That is where you see the great character and personality of the Juventus players.”

Evra added: “Barcelona is still Barcelona. I think against Manchester [United in 2009 and 2011] they were more a team, a very strong team,” he continued. “Now they have three players in the front, Messi, Neymar and Suárez, that can make the difference. You can be strong like in the last five, 10 minutes [against Madrid] but these three players can score any time. You have to be ready.

“We worked really hard [for this]. You have to congratulate the boss because tactically he’s really, really good. Game by game we believed we could do something big this year. I don’t know if people believed we’d make the final. But every time I play this competition I’m really confident to go to the final, like I did with Monaco, with Manchester [United] and now with Juve.

“I don’t think I really realised [at first]. People said ‘It’s your fifth final’, [but] I don’t realise. The most important is I don’t want to lose another one.”

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