Patrice Evra has opened about his true feelings towards Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez’s time in the Premier League with Liverpool was littered with controversy.

The worst of his offences came back in 2011, when he was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.

Suarez received an eight-game ban and a £40,000 fine for his actions and it was an incident that continued to produce headlines way after the Uruguayan had served his punishment.

The Liverpool striker infamously refused to shake Evra’s hand when the two met at Old Trafford in 2012, with Evra then celebrating United’s win in front of the South American at full-time.

Ever since then, little has been said about the incident; until now.

Evra has given an in-depth and heartfelt interview on the incident, stating that he doesn’t hate Suarez – and never has.

“I received a lot of letters of death,” Evra told the Daily Mail. ‘For months, I had a security car parked outside my house in Alderley Edge 24 hours a day.

“It wasn’t easy for my family but I grew up on tough streets in Les Ulis so for me it was like something normal. But maybe for another person, it was crazy. Even my brother was saying ‘Be careful’ when we were out in the car.

“I don’t know if Suarez is a racist. I don’t know his family. I don’t know his background. But racism is so big for so many years and that day, there was racist abuse.

“So when we went to the hearing, they listened to me because I said I didn’t want them to punish him and I don’t know him close enough to say he is racist but he used that racist word.

“I don’t hate him. I never hated him. I wanted to punch him at the time but for me to hate someone is impossible. I don’t have hate in my heart.

“I can react but hate is a strong word for me. When I was asked to pick a team of my best players, I named Suarez as one of my XI. He was the best striker at that time.

“Why should I not recognise his talent even if he isn’t a good person? I don’t even know if he is a good person. We had one episode. At that time, I wouldn’t have gone on holiday with him but I can’t hate him.”

The incident between Evra and Suarez – and the subsequent punishments handed out – were supposed to be watershed moments in eradicating racism from the English game.

But eight years later, the problems are sadly only getting worse.

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