During Patrice Evra’s final weeks as a Juventus player, we didn’t hear much from Uncle Pat. Not in post-game interviews ... mainly because he wasn’t playing in any games. Not even on Instagram, where most of his social media content turned into things from the past rather than videos of Mario Mandzukic telling you whatever the topic being brought up at the time was “no good.”
But with Evra’s move from Juventus to Marseille being made official earlier this week, there became a chance for the 35-year-old Frenchman to speak in front of the media for the first time in a good amount of days. At his introductory press conference on Thursday, Evra discussed a variety of topics. But one of the main ones we care about was why, after two and a half incredibly successful seasons at Juventus, did he suddenly pack his bags and head back to the country where his career started.
He told us...
“I will be honest, no (I didn’t plan on coming to Marseille one day). But I am someone who lives day-by-day. When the opportunity to come to Marseille came up, I didn’t hesitate for a second. I made the decision myself to leave Juventus. Nobody pushed me out. Let that be clear. I left the club on good terms. They were disappointed I was leaving. But that’s my decision and we must respect it.
“For those concerns about my age, I can only answer those on the pitch. That’s exactly why I left Juve — with a good relationship with coach Allegri. The human side is very important to me. But we had talked at the beginning of the season about my playing time. I only played in Champions League games. The others called me ‘Mr. Champions League.’ But the league is what we compete for every day. I didn’t want to play every game, but there was a minimum. I came to Marseille to get playing time. But if I don’t play well, I will stay on the bench.”
For days we heard about how Evra was evaluating his options and that his future was going to be decided at some point in the month of January. If it was a simple matter of wanting more playing time, then that’s easy to understand. Alex Sandro has put an absolute stranglehold on the start left back position this season and probably has cut into Evra’s possible projected playing time because of it.
By the way Juventus talked about him on their official website announcing his departure, Evra saying that he left on good terms seems to be right on the money. Any chances Allegri had to talk about Evra at one of his pre-match press conferences in recent weeks had nothing but kind things to say. He likely saw the writing on the wall and figured Evra was on his way out, and as much as Allegri probably wanted to keep him around, it’s not like he was going to stop the veteran fullback from leaving. The rapport between the two seemed pretty darn solid even with Evra’s playing time taking a significant step back this season compared to his first two in Turin.
So, like Juventus, we thank you, Pat. May you find more playing time in France.