Patrice Evra speaks out on racist abuse and how to combat it at the World Cup
The World Cup begins on Friday with a group stage that will feature six English-speaking nations. They are Belgium, Costa Rica, Panama, Serbia, Sweden and Switzerland. The host nation, Russia, will play Belgium in their first group stage match at 6.30pm Moscow time.
England have been under the spotlight on a number of occasions since the World Cup began in Brazil, but Evra, 24, who became England’s first-choice right-back in his country’s run-out victory against Spain in the semi-finals, is not in the squad.
“I have not played for England so far,” Evra told The Independent. “My first World Cup was the same situation. At the end of the day I feel my heart is at home with the national team.
“I’ve heard the criticism and I’ve heard the negative things people say about me saying I’ve not been playing well. But at the end of the day, the team is what it is and we’ve got to move on. I will do my best this time, but there’s no need to worry or be sad.”
Despite the criticism, Evra insisted he would be fine if called upon to help England defend their World Cup title.
“I will do my job as a player and as a person,” Evra said. “I will play my best. We can win the World Cup this time, so don’t worry about me. I will do what I can do in my role as a player and I know I have the ability to do that.
“Let’s just keep calm, keep positive, and keep playing the game we’ve played for a couple of years now. That’s the only way to do it.”
It was Evra’s