Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has named the toughest he has ever faced in his career, and surprisingly it’s not Lionel Messi.
Evra has surely come up against the bests of the best, having featured for United for eight seasons. As well as Juventus, Monaco, Marseille and Westham United.
However, despite the wealth of talents Evra has had to face, the defender has named Liverpool’s James Milner as his toughest opponent, ahead of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Aaron Lennon.
Patrice Evra admits Messi is a force to reckon with, but the Barça talisman would have to take a more central role to put him off his game.
“James Milner. I played against Messi many times in the wide position, and I won’t say he’s easy to mark, but I could deal with it. It’s when he goes central, that’s when he’s dangerous because he can turn on the right or left,” Evra said on Sky Sports.
“James Milner, only because he could frustrate me because I’m an attacking defender and he’s following me everywhere and challenging me in the air and I would just get frustrated sometimes. ‘Just go and attack and leave me alone!’
“When I was playing the derby against Manchester City, I had him and then he went to Liverpool and I had him again. So yeah, the one who frustrated me the most was James Milner.
“Of course, Lennon was the type of player that, if I wasn’t 100 percent fit, would run behind me, and defender’s hate when a player runs behind. Lennon’s quick movement was difficult to play against, but yeah, it’s James Milner.”
Milner, 33, has continued to bask under the guidance of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. The midfielder, having made a total of 704 appearances, including 188 for the Merseyside reds, scoring 83 goals and providing 122 assists.