Legendary former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has left behind a great legacy in the world of football. He has had a tremendous impact not only on the game of football but especially on his club Manchester United and its player- many of whom went on to become absolute superstars.
Now, former United defender Patrice Evra said that it was Ferguson who taught him that winning was normal.
“I’ll be honest, when you start winning the third one, the fourth and the fifth, you celebrate but not the same way,” Evra was quoted as saying by the official website of the Red Devils.
“You celebrate because of the cameras and stuff, but it’s not the same. Ferguson taught us all to be like a robot. I don’t think I was a human being playing for Manchester United. When we won games, when I was doing something good, I wasn’t pleased. For me, it was something normal.
“I always say that (Didier) Deschamps taught me winning is important, but Ferguson taught me that winning is normal. I remember after big wins against Liverpool, he just said, ‘Well done, son’. He was never screaming, apart from when we won the Champions League final,” said full-back Evra who has won five Premier League titles, three League Cups and the Champions League in 2008 with Manchester United.
Evra recalled an incident after they won the UEFA Champions League in 2008 in Moscow. He said, “Ferguson took the microphone and he said, ‘Well done guys, I’m really proud of you. We won the league and the Champions League, but next year if someone doesn’t want to win again, I will cut his contract. Enjoy your summer with your national team and I don’t wish you good luck’.
“I remember I came home, I dropped my bag and was thinking ‘this is the feeling to win the Champions League?’. But actually, winning was normal and you shouldn’t be excited about that.”
Evra also talked at length about the rich history of the club.
“Every time I was shaking the hands of Bobby Charlton, I felt something. And every time I saw him on the plane, travelling with us, when I know what’s happening with all his ex-teammates, I was like, ‘This person is a miracle’.
“But maybe some kids… and it’s not an excuse, even if they are like six, seven… when they play for this club they need to know every person working for this club, and this is really important. You don’t have any excuse. Just watch some DVDs like I did. And it’s really important.
“So every time I was putting this shirt on, and I know how many people have worn this shirt and won (trophies). Respect this tradition, the philosophy. I was like, ‘I can’t let down those people’. When you play for Manchester United, it’s not for you. You don’t use Manchester United, and because you’re a United player so you’re famous, you’re on social media. You play for United because you have to give to those people (the fans).”
Evra explained with an anecdote how Ferguson respected each and every fan of the club.
“I give you one example: once when we were in pre-season, and before we came on the bus, we were really tired, I’ll be honest with you, and there was a queue of fans. And the players were like: ‘When no one signs, no one has to sign’.
“So we went straight to the bus, every one of us, and I looked out of the window and I saw Alex Ferguson signing each autograph. I swear he must have signed for like 45 minutes. He was signing (for) everyone. I say ,’Guys, when the boss comes on the bus, we are done.’
“He came on the bus, he gave us the hairdryer. ‘Who the hell do you think you are?! Those people are paying your salary. Those people are coming to watch you. Now get down there and sign.’ And we had to sign for each fan. But that’s the mentality.”