Patrice Evra has revealed how Manchester United legend Paul Scholes once joked about sending him back to AS Monaco for free in his initial days. The Frenchman has also revealed that he only started hitting the gym after moving to Old Trafford, which helped him adapt to the physicality of the Premier League.
Evra joined Manchester United in January 2006, after they hijacked a deal between Inter and AS Monaco. The defender, who joined for a reported £5.5 million fee, went on to stay at the club until 2014 before joining Juventus for a £1.5 million fee.
Speaking to Betfair this week, Evra admitted he had difficulty adapting to life at Old Trafford on their YouTube channel.
The defender claims he was getting pushed to the floor a lot in training and laughed at. He recalled the incident with Scholes and said:
"I love to be challenged in my life. I think that's when you see the best version of myself.
"I'll be honest with you, players like Paul Scholes, they said: 'Patrice I think you were a joke! I think we should send you back for free to Monaco!'. I remember some players like Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney they were laughing at me in training when people were pushing me down because I needed to adapt my football.
"I was a skilful player, I didn't know that first you needed to be strong. So first I went in the gym, which I never did while I was playing in France."
Patrice Evra names the best player he played with at Manchester United
During his eight-year stay at Old Trafford, Evra was part of some of the best squads in the club's history. When asked by 433 to name the best player he has played with at the club, the Frenchman picked Ryan Giggs.
"People always ask me the best player you played with after you signed for United, and they expect me to say Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.
"I always say Ryan Giggs, because sometimes he will pass the ball where nobody would see it, and his legacy. I remember with Giggsy, even if you were losing a game in training he would be going mad.
"Sometimes even the training was more important than the actual game."
Evra teamed up with the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes at Manchester United during his stay.