Patrice Evra has issued a heartwarming statement thanking Manchester United fans after agreeing a two-year deal with Juventus for a fee in the region of £1.5 million.
The 33-year-old Frenchman has been a fan favourite during his eight year spell at the club and issued this statement paying tribute to the fans after his move to the Italian Champions was announced.
He said: “After a great deal of thought I have decided the time is right for me to leave Manchester United. It is the biggest decision of my career as this club is, and will always remain, in my heart.
“Joining and playing for Manchester United has been a privilege, a dream come true and my time here has been so memorable.
“Through the good times and the bad times we have all stuck together and remained loyal. I have always said you don’t just join Manchester United, you join the family and long may that tradition continue.
“This club is steeped in history and I feel privileged to have become a part of that. Over the past nine years I have met and worked with some incredible people, many of whom will remain friends for life.
“I would like to thank everyone at the club – team-mates, coaches and in particular all the staff who made every single day in Carrington or at Old Trafford a special day.
“An immense thank you to Sir Alex Ferguson for making it all possible, for giving me the privilege to be a captain, to be inspired by the legend of Manchester United and to understand that nobody is bigger than the club.
“My biggest thanks go to the fans. We have had some fantastic times together, we lifted all of those trophies together and that night in Moscow will live with us all forever. Every single time I stepped out in that shirt I knew I was playing for the badge and for a very special club.
“My passion for this club will live on and I know you guys will go on to enjoy more success in the coming seasons.”
Evra was first signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in the 2006 winter transfer window for a fee of around £5.5 million from French club Monaco.
In his first season at the club Evra came off the bench during United's 4-0 win against Wigan Athletic in the 2006 Football League Cup Final to claim his first piece of silverware with the club.
During the full-back's first full season at the club he cemented his place in the starting 11 and made his debut in the UEFA Champions League where he helped Manchester United reach the semi-finals of the competition.
Manchester United won the 2006-2007 Premier League by six points and Evra was named in the PFA Team of the Year despite only making 24 league appearances.
The following season Evra made 48 appearances in all competitions, including all 120 minutes of the Champions League final as he aided Manchester United in winning the double.
Evra suffered a disrupted 2008-2009 season due to suspension and injury but still played a large part as United went on to win the FIFA Club World Cup, the League Cup and their third consecutive Premier League trophy, at the end of the season Evra was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the second time.
In the next campaign Evra appeared in all 38 League matches for the first time and Captained his side a number of times including the 2-1 victory over Aston Villa in the League Cup final.
The 2010-2011 saw Evra win his fourth Premier League trophy and saw him sign a contract extension to keep him at the club till the 2013-2014 season despite being heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid.
The following season Manchester United won the Community Shield after coming back from 2-0 down to Manchester City to win 3-2 but the rest of the season was overshadowed by claims that Luis Suarez racially abused Patrice Evra multiple times as the two clashed at Anfield.
During the 2012-2013 season Evra built a reputation as an attacking threat at corners, scoring three headed goals in 13 games, doubling his tally from the previous seven years as Manchester went on to win the Premier League, allowing Evra to claim his fifth winners medal.
Evra provided the highlight of the season for many Manchester United fans during the 2013-2014 season as he scored a thunderbolt of a left foot volley in to the top corner during the Champions League defeat to Manchester United.
Evra won five Premier League titles, three League Cups and the Champions League during his time with the Red Devils and will be fondly remembered by all Manchester United fans.
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