Footballers get paid incredible sums of money to kick a ball around a pitch a few days a week while thousands of adoring fans look on in envy. They should be happy, right? Well, not everyone in football is. Mesut Özil sulks around the Emirates, Jose Mourinho is always on the brink of an outburst, while Graeme Souness seems like the sort of person who would send back his food at a restaurant just to make the waitress sad. But they aren’t all that way. Some are just enjoying the sort of life which is the envy of almost everyone else on planet earth. Patrice Evra is one of those people.
During his time at Manchester United, Patrice Evra had a very different reputation to the one he has now. The left-back was best known for his aggressive defending and determination at Old Trafford. He was also captain of the infamous France squad which went on strike during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. However, somewhere down the line, things have changed for Patrice Evra. The Frenchman has a cult following not for his ability on the pitch, but for his exploits on social media.
You get the feeling that if he wasn’t still playing, Patrice Evra would be some sort of viral Instagram celebrity down to his hilariously confusing posts. In the past week alone, the 36-year-old has given a deadpan beat box in an airport, visited a refugee camp in Thailand, and sung Stand By Me to his young followers because “you going to feel relaxed if you got an #exams.”
Evra has done some pretty incredible things down the years, like that time he kissed a monkey:
Danced in a giant panda costume:
And, of course, that haunting duet of Let’s Get It On he performed with France teammate Paul Pogba.
Evra has a habit of signing off almost every post with “I love this game.” The simple message has become something of a catchphrase for the Marseille player who explained what it meant to him in a recent interview.
“It means I love my life. I say ‘I love this game’ because I’m aware of how lucky I am,” Evra said.
“I remember when I was 10-years-old, begging money just to get a sandwich, a Coke, a kebab. It was not easy, that’s why I think life is a game.”
It’s great to see a footballer actually enjoying what they do. They work incredibly hard to get there and the pressure is undoubtedly immense. However, there are many other people who work just as hard but get nowhere near the same levels of love and cold, hard cash as professional footballers generally do. Patrice Evra seems to be genuinely enjoying himself right now which is what makes him so popular with fans across the world. I love this game too, Patrice.