Man Utd legend Patrice Evra names surprise ex-Liverpool star as toughest winger faced
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Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has named a former Liverpool star as a surprising choice for the toughest winger he faced in his career.
Evra joined United in early 2006 from French side Monaco for a £5.5 million transfer fee and the Frenchman went on to become the club's first choice left-back for much of the next decade as he racked up almost 380 games for the Old Trafford club.
The defender won five Premier League titles, the Champions League, the FIFA Club World Cup and three League Cups before departing Old Trafford in 2014.
From there, he had spells at Juventus, Marseille and West Ham United before officially retiring in 2019.
During his time at United, Evra came up against some of the best players in the world, both in the Premier League and in Europe when the Red Devils were in Champions League action.
You might expect Evra to namecheck the likes of Arjen Robben, Joe Cole, or maybe even Lionel Messi when it comes to facing the toughest winger in his career - but you'd be wrong.
In fact, Evra has declared that former Manchester City and Liverpool midfielder James Milner was the toughest wide man he faced in his time on the pitch.
Evra believes Milner, who is still playing at the age of 37 after signing for Brighton & Hove Albion this summer, was "so underrated" as he explained why he picked the former England international over the likes of Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
Speaking to the Thinking Football Summit, Evra said: "Every time people think I’ll say Ronaldo or Messi but it’s James Milner of Liverpool, because I’m an attacking full-back and he was defending me more than attacking. It was frustrating my game, always in the challenge, in the air.
"He was playing for City, then after he went to Liverpool and every time at the end of the game I was frustrated. Even when I was going to the toilet he was following me to the toilet.
"He doesn’t stop, he’s so underrated. He’s a machine."