Juventus defender Patrice Evra has admitted he never received an apology from Barcelona forward Luis Suarez following their protracted bust-up in October 2011, but he claims to have no lingering animosity towards the Uruguayan ahead of their meeting in Saturday’s Champions League final.
Evra was Manchester United captain and Suarez was Liverpool’s star striker when the pair became embroiled in an infamous on-field clash at Anfield. Suarez later admitted at a Football Association inquiry that he used the word ‘negro’ to taunt his rival. After the incident Luis Suárez was charged with, and found guilty of, racially abusing United’s Patrice Evra, and was fined £40,000 and banned for eight games.
The incident sparked ill-feeling between the two clubs and a lingering bitterness between the players involved, which spilled over into their next meeting as Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand at Old Trafford.
Patrice Evra maintains that he’s not interested in any apology from Luis Suarez after being racially abused four years ago, but will shake the striker’s hand on Saturday night. The Juventus defender, who will start the Champions League final against Barcelona in Berlin, has received no formal act of remorse since the much-publicized comments by the then Liverpool man.
“I don’t want his apologies,” Evra told ITV. “It doesn’t matter, it’s no problem for me. But when we are going to play the game, I will shake his hand. He will never be my best friend, but this is not a problem.”
Evra, who left Manchester United for Juventus after eight years at Old Trafford last summer, will play in his fifth Champions League final when he lines up for MassimilianoAllegri’s team against the Spanish champions in Berlin. The encounter will pitch Evra against Suárez once again with the same situation as 2011’s Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield. And Evra insisted that he’ll make sure Suarez knows he’s there when they do battle this weekend.
“The past is the past. I am really proud of my colour and I will shake his hand like I did with Manchester when we play against Liverpool. My game is against Barcelona, it is not against Luis Suárez, but I will make sure he will feel me on the pitch,” added Evra.
Evra insists he has little sympathy for Suárez and admits only his own self-control prevented him from hitting the former Liverpool striker on the pitch at Anfield. “I didn’t say to the judge that Luis Suárez is a racist person,” Evra said. “I just say in that moment he have some racist comment.”