Patrice Evra has confirmed his intention to shake hands with Luis Suarez prior to the Champions League final, despite the controversial Barcelona striker having never apologised for the race row between the pair.
Evra and Suarez will be on opposite sides once more on Saturday evening as Juventus meet Barcelona at Berlin’s iconic Olympic Stadium with the grandest prize in club football up for grabs.
The size of what is at stake should ensure there are no distractions but, given the history between the former Manchester United and Liverpool foes, this unsavoury back story offers another dramatic turn to what should be an absorbing encounter.
Suarez was suspended for eight matches having been found guilty of racially abusing Evra during a Manchester United and Liverpool game four years ago, and the former Old Trafford defender would understandably be reluctant to interact with the Uruguayan this weekend.
But Evra, who left Manchester United for Juventus in last summer’s transfer window, insists that his focus will purely be on the job - namely clinching European glory - and will conduct the formulaic pre-match pleasantries with his rival.
"I don’t want his apologies [from Suarez],” Evra told ITV Sport.
"It doesn’t matter, it’s no problem for me. But when we are going to play the game, I will shake his hand. He will never be my best friend, but this is not a problem.
"The past is the past. I am really proud of my colour and I will shake his hand like I did with Manchester when we play against Liverpool.
“My game is against Barcelona, it is not against Luis Suárez, but I will make sure he will feel me on the pitch."
Both Evra and Suarez are expected to start from the off in the German capital, with Barcelona the clear favourites to secure victory and, in doing so, complete a treble of successes this season.
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