Manchester United defender Patrice Evra would be the ideal companion in a war zone, claims Nicolas Anelka, who would immediately summon his compatriot next to him on the frontline of a hypothetical battlefield.
Evra and Anelka have been two of the most controversial characters in the France national team over the past few years, with both receiving bans from representing their country in the wake of a dismal showing at the 2010 World Cup.
The Manchester United full-back was suspended for five matches - the second most severe of the sanctions - while Anelka received a ban of 18 games. Evra has been able to integrate himself back into the France set-up, but Anelka has since retired.
Despite being something of a reformed character, Evra continues to find the target of criticism from sections of the French media and recently became engaged in an angry war of words with World Cup winner Bixente Lizarazu.
Anelka, though, has defended the assertion that Evra does not care enough about the national team, and says the Old Trafford star is as committed as they come.
"If I were to go to war, immediately next to me in the front line, I will put Patrice Evra," Anelka told L'Optimum.
"On the ground he is a born competitor, an intractable defender. He has played for Manchester United for nine seasons.
"It is no coincidence Sir Alex Ferguson appointed him vice-captain. In England, he has so many big achievements: champion five times, three times winner of the League Cup, a Champions League etc.
"He is funny, friendly and loyal friend. Above all, he is very attached to the blue jersey of the France team."
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