‘I Begged For Money On Streets’

Patrice Evra

Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has admitted he had a “tough childhood” as he revealed he “begged for money” whilst growing up in the streets of France. 

Evra admitted he used to sit outside shops and beg for money as a homeless youngster in Paris but explained that he “wouldn’t change anything” about his upbringing as it has formed him into a strong person.

The left-back enjoyed an illustrious career in football as he won 15 trophies with Manchester United, but his journey began from poverty.  

“I’ll be honest with you, it was a tough childhood because I’ve got many brothers and sisters, so it wasn’t easy living in the street,” the 38-year-old told United’s official podcast. 

“I was in Paris but living in the streets and sometimes I wasn’t even able to have some food. I remember my brother Dominique was working at a McDonalds and so I was going there and on his lunch break he was giving me his own food.

“I’m not scared to say that I’ve begged for money in front of shops. I’ve been in front of shops and when I’ve seen some people I’ve said, ‘Can I have a Euro?’ and sometimes they were giving me the money and sometimes not just because I wanted to buy a sandwich.

“It was a tough time, but a happy time. I was always happy and always felt lucky, I wouldn’t change anything, I would keep it that way because it built the man I am.

“Some people, when you succeed they just see the end [result], they just see on the TV the superstar, but actually, on the streets, I learned so much and it helped me to be strong.

“Especially after the World Cup when I was the captain and a lot of people were blaming me but I was still strong because I know on the streets I had tougher times than then, with the press talking about you.”  

Evra added that he hopes his story will inspire “kids to never give up” and he said he is “not a victim”. 

He said, “I’m not a victim, I’m not feeling sad. I don’t want any people to give me much love, because I’m telling those things. I’m just telling my true story.

“I just want to motivate more kids to never give up no matter what will happen. If you believe you’re going to become someone, if you walk out, if you believe in yourself, you’re going to do it. That’s it.”