(born 15 May 1981 in Dakar, Senegal) is a French international footballer, who plays for English Premier League
side Manchester United
The son of a diplomat, Evra arrived in Europe through Brussels from Senegal when he was 6 years old. He was raised in Les Ulis, Essonne, France where he lived with his family from 1984 to 1998 before seizing his first footballing opportunity leading him to Marsala, Sicily, Italy. Evra has a total of 25 siblings, although two are now deceased.
During his teenage years, Evra began his career as a striker for Paris Saint-Germain
's youth system. Though he never received a professional contract, he was spotted by a scout for small Italian-side Marsala, eventually receiving a contract with the club. In 27 total appearances with the side while playing as a striker, Evra scored 6 goals. Many locals would begin calling him "Black Gazelle". The next season, he would find himself with Monza in Serie B, but only made three appearances.
Evra returned to France for OGC Nice
in Ligue 2. In his first several matches, he played as a centre forward. Due to injuries within the club, he was made to play as a left back during a game versus Stade Lavallois. In several matches after, manager Sandro Salvioni
utilized Evra in defence. During the remainder of the season, Salvioni continued to alternate him between the two positions. Evra would shine in defence after being named Ligue 2's best left back.
, impressed by Evra's defensive efforts, signed him from Nice for an undisclosed fee by manager Didier Deschamps
. He would quickly become part of the regular defence with Lucas Bernardi
, Gaël Givet,
and Julien Rodriguez
. In his first season with the club, Monaco reached the 2004 UEFA Champions League Final but were defeated 3–0 by F.C. Porto
. His performances would lead to his call-up for international duty for the French soccer national team
In 2005, Evra would be named captain on several occasions. Monaco would struggle through the season, being knocked out of the qualifying rounds of the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League
and lying in the bottom half of Ligue 1 table for most of the season.
Evra signed for Manchester United on 10 January 2006, joining for a transfer fee of around £5.5 million from AS Monaco, putting pen to paper on a three-and-a-half year contract.Evra's arrival signalled Sir Alex Ferguson
's intention to shore up a United defence that had suffered since the sidelining of Gabriel Heinze
. During his first meeting with the club after signing, he asked captain Gary Neville
where the nearest church was.
He made his debut for Manchester United on 14 January 2006 in a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City
in the Premier League
. He did not have the best of debuts as he was substituted at half time. He played his home debut against Liverpool FC
on 22 January 2006 in a 1-0 win. Evra initially had some problems adapting to the English game, but by midway through the 2006-07 season his form had greatly improved and he established himself as a regular first-teamer. On 29 November 2006, he scored his first goal for the club in a Premiership match against Everton
at Old Trafford. After a spell out of the squad, Evra made his comeback on 10 April 2007 in the Champions League match against AS Roma
at Old Trafford, contributing to the Red Devils' 7-1 thrashing of the visitors with the final goal. Due to his efforts, Evra earned a place in the PFA Team of the Year.
During United's 07-08 season, Evra became a key member of United's defence. Though making 47 appearances in all competitions, the highest in his career, he did not manage to score a goal. United clinched their second consecutive Premier League title on the final day, edging Chelsea by two points. He made 10 appearances in United's run in the UEFA Champions League, including an appearance in the Final as United defeated Chelsea
6-5 on penalties, following a 1-1 draw after extra time. On 12 June 2008, Evra signed a four-year extension with United, a deal that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2012.
At Euro 2008, Evra was left out of the starting line up in the first fixture against Romania to accommodate for FC Barcelona
left back Eric Abidal
. He was then called in for the next game against the Netherlands after a poor 0-0 draw with Romania. France lost the Netherlands match 4-1 in a thrilling encounter. The final group game was a must win against Italy. France lost 2-0 and were eliminated in the group stage. After the game, cameras caught Evra and team mate Patrick Vieira
in an altercation in the tunnel.
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