Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has hit back at Bixente Lizarazu and his critics in France, labeling them "parasites."
Evra was heavily criticized for leading Les Bleus in an infamous training ground strike at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after coach Raymond Domenech sent home Nicolas Anelka. But the United man insists he remains popular with the public in his homeland, and accused his detractors of "lying to France."
"I do not have status in the French team, I'm just a player," Evra told Telefoot. "Whether I have the armband or not I do my role as captain. I'm like that.
"You can't contain me and stop me from saying what I think, but there is one boss – Didier Deschamps. With some of the media it is always the same. There are some people, some commentators, I will address later.
"They want to lie to the people of France, saying Evra is unloved. Arrogant? This is not true.
"When I meet people in the street they are super friendly. I do not know what Lizarazu has against me. He was never voted the best fullback in the world, like I was. With France, he did not shake my hand when I arrived, but he's like that.
"After [the World Cup revolt in] Knysna, I went to eat in central Paris. It shows the French people like me. I am proud to wear the France shirt.
"They should stop talking, they go too far. It does not hurt me at all because I am a happy man. There are many people who would like to be in my place. It does not affect me at all, but the problem is that it can affect my family.
"These bums should stop lying to France. They are parasites.
"We were children in Knysna, but when will they stop talking about it? Let's stop talking in circles. The World Cup is over. I am confident we will qualify for the next one."
Also speaking to Telefoot, Lizarazu delivered an emphatic response to Evra's comments.
"This is appalling," Lizarazu said. "To answer him, yes, I was voted the best left back in the world and my CV spoke in my favor. But it's not important.
"He said that I did not shake his hand when he arrived in French squad. I do not remember crossing him. Look when I stopped and when he started.
"In addition, the timing of his quotes is very bad, because we will have a [World Cup qualifying] playoff in a month. Honestly, this is ridiculous.
"We had already lost him in South Africa, and now we lose him again. I have no dispute with him."
- Sports & Recreation
- Bixente Lizarazu
- Nicolas Anelka