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An interview with Patrice Evra (

22 feb 2005 - Source:

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Patrice Evra became an AS Monaco first team regular last season. The 23-year-old full left was born in Senegal but grew up in Paris. He has won his first cap for the French national team meanwhile. Evra kindly answered some questions put to him by PSV Media.Evra played as a youngster for some small Italian clubs before he made a move to Monaco. He considers the game in Eindhoven last year as the start of a successful European campaign in which the Monegasques eventually even reached the UEFA Champions league final. Patrice, what do you think of this year’s edition of the Champions League?"The Champions League is a world on its own. It is our prime target, but only right now. Our first aim was to survive the group phase, which we did. And this is a welcome bonus. Hopefully we can grow and reach the next round. It would be a shame if we were knocked out by PSV. We want to be competitive in all competitions. When we started the new season we hoped to win the French title and the Champions league was another big target for us. And it still is. Why couldn’t we win the Champions League once again?"Do you think that Monaco are one of the top sides in Europe?"Funnily enough, the game we played in Eindhoven one and a half years ago remains a frame of reference and not the more spectacular clashes with Real Madrid, Deportivo La Coruña or Chelsea. We made a switch as a team on that night in Holland. No French team had ever won a European game in Holland before. When I look back at that game I still feel that we did a great job. We put up a brave fight and we won. And ever since, we have felt we were no longer the small boys in our domestic league. We could raise our standards and we felt Monaco were respected." Have you been watching PSV since the draw in December?"I saw the PSV-Arsenal tie and it was in line with the impression I already had. PSV are still a solid team. There are some similarities: we both have the same kind of coach and we both have some new players."Is there any PSV player that you fear?"Last year I had Rommedahl or Robben to mark. I performed pretty well against them, which gave me and my team mates a lot of self confidence. We fought out some fierce challenges, but the atmosphere on the pitch and in the stands was good. Whenever we lost possession of the ball, the crowd stared to jeer, as if we had conceded a goal. It was than that I realized what Champions League football is all about. But I have made progress. I know that we should be brave and proud. PSV are a solid team. I remember Bouma and the two South Korean players. Although Kezman has left, they are still a strong, collective team."How do you rate your team’s chances of reaching the quarter finals?"It will be an evenly contested match. I think we both stand a fair chance. It will be a ‘fifty-fifty chance. And I don’t say that by lack of a better reply. I honesty feel we are going to face a tough opponent tonight."