Former Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra has opened up on his bitter departure from the club, targeting CEO Ed Woodward for “broken promises”.
The 38-year-old, who quit the game on Monday, spent eight seasons at Old Trafford but left the club for Juventus in strange circumstances only weeks after signing a one-year contract extension in 2014.
Evra, who wanted to move for family reasons, has laid the blame squarely at the door of Woodward for reneging on a promise not to trigger an extension that United had in his contract.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “I was having dinner in Dubai on my birthday and had a text from my agent. He told me to go somewhere quiet and sent me a message with the statement from United saying they were pleased to renew my contract for another year. I went mad, I was really disappointed.
“I called Ed and swore on the phone, even threatened him. He said I couldn't talk to the director of football like that and that he was going to fine me.
“Some people won't understand why Ed did it but I understand. Of the senior players I was the only one he wanted to keep - even David Moyes had said it before he got sacked. They said to Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, we don't need you anymore, but in the dressing room you need a character. I understood Ed, but I didn't understand why he betrayed me. He should've called me to explain.”
Evra admits his future might have been very different had Woodward not thrown a spanner in the works.
“Without that it's difficult to know what would've happened,” he said. “I would've had to deal with my wife - and I call her Roy Keane when she gets angry. When we reached the Champions League final with Juventus she said she'd told me so, but even winning three Champions Leagues with Juve wouldn't have had the same satisfaction of playing for United.”
Evra enjoyed a storied career, which started at Monza in Italy but saw him progress to Nice, Monaco, Manchester United, Juve, Marseille and finally to West Ham.
He won five Premier League titles at Old Trafford, plus the 2007-08 Champions League, in which Sir Alex Ferguson’s side overcame Chelsea on penalties in Moscow.