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How chicken helped Patrice Evra sign for Manchester United

FOOTBALL By Mirror | July 31st 2019 | 2 min read
Evra signed for Manchester United in January 2006 [Courtesy]

Patrice Evra has revealed that he used to play with a piece of chicken in his boot - and claims it helped him sign for Manchester United.

The bizarre ritual started in the early part of the 2005/06 season when he was playing for Monaco.

Evra, who retired earlier this summer, picked up an injury while playing for the French Under-21 team and when he got back to his club, he was given a peculiar piece of advice.

It turned out to be a perfect piece of guidance as Evra's performances reached a new level - and he ended up being picked up by United, where he went on to make 379 appearances, winning five Premier League titles and the Champions League.

Evra recalled to the Players' Tribune: “An opponent had stamped on my foot and damaged it badly. In the hospital I told the Monaco coach, Didier Deschamps, ‘It’s too painful. I can’t play. I can’t even walk!’

“But the team needed me, so the doctors tried everything to take away the pain. Nothing worked. Then someone from the club staff said, ‘Why don’t you just go old school?’

“Everyone said, ‘What do you mean?’

“He said, ‘Just slide a chicken down his boot.’

“It sounded crazy but, you know me, I’m open-minded. So I went to my local butcher. The butcher said, ‘What do you want?’

Evra playing for Monaco before he moved to Manchester United [Reuters]

“I said, ‘A piece of chicken. But just a tiny one.’

“He said, ‘A tiny one? How come?’

“I said, ‘I’m gonna put it in my boot.’

“He just laughed. I went home with the chicken. I ordered new boots: one in size 42.5, the other in size 44. I passed the ball. [It] felt okay. Painful, but okay.

“So I ended up playing with chicken in my boot for four months.

“I didn’t train with it — my mother would never have forgiven me for wasting food — but before every game, I would visit the butcher. ‘Morning, Patrice. The usual, yeah?’

“The chicken enabled me to play so well that, in January 2006, I was signed by Manchester United.”

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