Patrice Evra, former captain of the France team, returned to the famous players’ strike during the 2010 World Cup in Knysna, this Thursday on BFMTV. In particular, he expresses his doubts about the identity of the traitor.
Patrice Evra’s career will be marked by the famous episode of Knysna. The former left-back was captain of the France team when the players refused to train to protest the exclusion of Nicolas Anelka, accused of insulting the manager at half-time in the France-Mexico match during of the 2010 World Cup.
Almost 12 years later, the former defender returns to this landmark event in the history of the Blues in his autobiography « I love this game » which is released in bookstores this Thursday. Guest on BFMTV, he tells how he had lived this sad episode which took on an even greater importance for him with his captain’s armband.
« Domenech confiscated the driver’s keys »
« A lot of players told me it was going to fall on me, he confides. I replied that I had broad shoulders. When people ask me what I would change from Knysna if I had a magic wand, I have always said: in Tunisia, before the World Cup, when Nicolas Anelka wants to leave by telling me ‘I feel that things are going to go badly’, I hold him back by telling him ‘we need you.’ We know the rest. But there are a lot of important details in Knysna. When people say we didn’t get off the bus, no. We got off the bus and we signed autographs for the kids who came to see the training. when we got back on the bus that Raymond Domenech confiscated the driver’s keys and we were taken hostage. Things have to be put back in their place. «
It also details the episode of the reading of the letter from the players by Raymond Domenech, in a scene that has become sadly cult. « On the bus, people were telling me to read it, he (Domenech) took the paper from me, explains Evra. I told him that it was up to me to read it. By doing that, it meant that he was going against the Federation and they had this excuse to fire him. «
He also ensures that the group did not measure, then, the impact of their actions in France. « We were in a bubble, a bunker, he says. We did not realize the impact of the situation. It became political, Roselyne Bachelot (Minister of Sports at the time, editor’s note) is came to see us and afterwards, in the Assembly, destroyed us. In 2010, there was a problem on the subject of pensions, France was in crisis and we were used as scapegoats. But this story is Too bad because on arrival, it is the only decision that this group, with a lot of ego, has taken together. «
The traitor? « Some say he’s the manager. I hope he sleeps well at night. »
He refutes the comments posted on one of L’Equipe allegedly made by Nicolas Anelka. « A sentence that is false, he assures. Nicolas Anelka had decided to apologize to the group and the coach, but not in public. When I said to Raymond, Nico is ready to apologize, he said, ‘I can’t do anything more Pat’. It’s above. «
He finally concludes by smiling in front of the sequence, rebroadcast on set, where he seeks « the traitor » at the origin of the leak of the sentence in the press. « I don’t like injustice, he says. If he had said that (Anelka) … but he didn’t. After he was lynched. In the locker room, he several things are happening and even worse than that. Whether it came out like that … The traitor? Many ask the question, some say that he is a great player of the France team, others say that he is He is the manager, but I hope he sleeps well at night. «