Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson threatened to rip up players’ contracts in the hours after the Red Devils’ Champions League final victory over Chelsea in 2008.
After boarding the team bus to return home, following United’s now famous penalty shoot-out win against the west London outfit, Ferguson warned that any of his players who were not hungry to defend the European Cup could leave the club.
Ferguson warns United stars
“Congratulations,” Ferguson said after picking up the microphone, “but anyone who doesn’t want to win the Champions League again next year, I will rip up his contract!”
Evra, who has stated his admiration for Ferguson on multiple occasions over the years, said: “I thought to myself, ‘We’ve just won the Champions League, he congratulates us for two seconds.”
Evra impressed by Ferguson
But the France international insists this was a positive rather than a negative, because it showed that Manchester United were a club not content with just winning a trophy once.
“Manchester United is a club with a winning culture,” he added. “When you win a game it’s not fantastic, when you win the league it’s not fantastic, when you win the Champions League it’s not fantastic, it’s normal.
“That’s the culture Sir Alex Ferguson imposed on Manchester United. For him, we were there to work and to win. That was the DNA of Manchester United.”
Under Ferguson, Evra won five Premier League titles, three League Cup, a Club World Cup and the aforementioned Champions League winners’ medal. The 33-year-old stayed with the Red Devils last season, but quit the club - despite signing a one-year contract extension - in the summer.
Evra admits leaving United was tough
The veteran full-back admits his decision to leave Old Trafford was one of the “toughest” of his career, and insists that he still loves the club. However, he is happy in Turin, playing alongside Carlos Tevez. The duo became good friends during their time playing together as Manchester United players, and Evra admits the Argentina international played a key role in his decision to leave England.
"(Leaving United) was one of the toughest decisions of my career,” he added. "It was easy to come to Juventus, because it is a great club, but it was difficult to leave United. When you play for United, you cannot get rid of the love you feel for the club.
"(Carlos) is one of the reasons I chose Juventus.
"I talked to him on the phone and asked for a few tips, and he told me: “Come here, you will see it is a great club!” To see Tevez again, to play with him again, is really enjoyable."
Juventus currently occupy top spot in the Serie A table, a point ahead of second-placed AS Roma. Evra has only played four of Juve’s seven league matches so far this term, while Tevez sits joint-top of the goalscorer charts having already netted six goals.