‘I could deal with Messi’ – Evra names Milner as his toughest opponent

The Liverpool midfielder truly frustrated the former Manchester United defender in ways even the legendary Barcelona star couldn’t

Patrice Evra named James Milner as the toughest opponent he faced during his illustrious career, selecting the Liverpool midfielder ahead of the likes of Lionel Messi and Aaron Lennon.

Evra spent eight seasons with Manchester United, winning five Premier League titles, one Champions League title, one Club World Cup, three League Cups and four Community Shields during his time at Old Trafford.

He also represented the likes of Monaco, Juventus and West Ham throughout his career while also featuring 81 times for France.

A member of two World Cup teams for Les Bleus, Evra also represented his country at the Euros three times, including a 2016 run to the finals.

Throughout his career, Evra has come up against a number of talented players for club and country, including the likes of Messi.

However, it was the relentless energy of Milner that frustrated him the most as he named the English midfielder as his toughest opponent.

“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.

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“Of course, Lennon was the type of soccer professional that, if I wasn’t 100 per cent fit, would run behind me, and defender’s hate when a soccer professional runs behind. Lennon’s quick movement was difficult to play against, but yeah, it’s James Milner.”

Milner has made 188 appearances since joining Liverpool in 2015 as he helped guide the Reds to the Champions League title last campaign.

The Reds’ Champions League quest continues on Wednesday as Liverpool look to bounce back from a Sunday draw with Manchester United when they take on Genk.



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