Evra reflects on WC nightmare
Les Bleus defender disappointed at how things turned out
By Patrick Haond. Last Updated: August 10, 2010 1:57pm
Evra: Difficult time
Patrice Evra insists he never intended for France's World Cup campaign to descend into farce.
Les Bleus endured a nightmare time in South Africa this summer, with events conspiring against them at every turn.
Performances on the field proved to be a major disappointment, while goings on off the pitch became increasingly shambolic.
The decision to send Nicolas Anelka home following a dispute with coach Raymond Domenech lit the touch paper, leading to a player strike and various reports of in-squad disharmony.
Evra, as national skipper, bore the brunt of the criticism, but the Manchester United full-back claims he did his best to keep the calm.
"I gave me all to the position of captain," he told L'Equipe.
"Some people have tried to make me look guiltier than I am without knowing what happened. I gave my best, but this is the result.
"I received complaints after every training session and I tried to pass those messages on to the coaching assistants, but nothing happened."
Evra has also hit back at former France star Lilian Thuram, who is now a French Football Federation official, for singling him out for criticism and suggesting he should be banded from international football indefinitely.
"Thuram? He has smeared my name without trying to know what he is talking about," added Evra.
"Lilian believes he is the coach, federation chairman and president of France.
"It is time Lilian stopped playing a role which is not his, like saying Les Bleus have made racism more prevalent.
"It is not enough to walk around holding books about slavery, wear glasses and a hat and believe you are Malcom X."