Football

Alex Ferguson hails the brain of Patrice Evra

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Alex Ferguson has revealed that Patrice Evra was a huge help to him in the Manchester United dressing room.

Speaking exclusively to the Big Issue, the Red Devils legend, who retired as the club's boss after securing the Premier League title at the end of the 2012/13 season, has hailed the brain of the former United player. 

In fact, Ferguson has revealed that Evra, who signed for Italian giants Juventus this past summer, can speak in as many as five languages.

The ex-Manchester United boss told the Big Issue: “I’ve always been blessed with a good memory but Patrice Evra? There’s a man with a brain. He could speak five languages and was a great help in the dressing room. Lovely guy. His father was a diplomat. It showed."

Ferguson has also revealed that striker Diego Forlan, who starred at Old Trafford between the years of 2001 and 2004, was extremely intelligent as he spoke about the forward's recent move to Osaka in Japan. 

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Impressive Forlan 

He continued by saying: "Even better, see Diego Forlan? When he was with us he was also a great linguist and could speak about five languages fluently.

"Earlier this year when he signed for Osaka, I was told that he prepared about a week in advance and then gave a five-minute interview to the media in Japanese! Now that’s impressive.”

Ferguson has also insisted that, despite missing people at Manchester United, he's enjoying his retirement as he continues to be involved in the game.

The United legend, who is an ambassador for the club, is also working with UEFA, and has revealed a number of potential future plans in store. 

He continued by saying: “Well, I’m an ambassador for Manchester United and I’m on the club’s board of directors so I still watch a lot of games but I do miss the banter of the dressing room; the players, obviously, but also the backroom staff. All lovely people: cleaners, cooks, admin people, kit staff. Really decent, honest people.

New role

"I don’t see them as much now as I used to but I’ve also been appointed as an ambassador for Uefa, I chair a forum of elite coaches that meet every year and I’m a member of the technical study group of the Champions League and the European Championship. So I’m still involved in football at the highest level."

“Right now we’re looking at the possibility of introducing sin bins like they have in rugby – a 10-minute suspension during the match. But we want to be careful that somehow it isn’t exploited if it’s introduced.

It appears, then, that football could follow in the footsteps of rugby, but it also appears that there could be other changes ahead in Europe's elite competition. 

"We’re also looking at wiping out bookings when teams reach the latter stages of a cup competition. We lost Darren Fletcher from the 2009 Champions League final against Barcelona and also missed Keane and Scholes for picking up cards in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich. Now, they’d all played in all the previous rounds so it wasn’t fair they missed out. We’ll see on that one.

"We’re also looking at allowing 11 substitutes on the bench for big finals in Europe. That way you can recognise the contribution the squad’s made and allow a wider range of substitutions.”

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Topics:
Alex Ferguson
Manchester United
Premier League
Football
Patrice Evra

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