Patrice Evra has revealed that chicken plays a deeper role in his life other than a means from which to garner bizarre internet attention, after claiming he used to play with a piece of poultry in his boot for no less than four months.
Having become synonymous for his humorous - if often times questionable - social media posts, the now-retired Evra posted a video online last winter of him kissing, biting, spanking and caressing a raw chicken for what apparently would be no reason whatsoever.
Well, if you thought that was the end of his fowl antics, think again. Speaking to The Players' Tribune, the former Manchester United defender revealed a stamp on his foot from an opposition player forced him to revert to alternative methods to ease his pain.
“An opponent had stamped on my foot and damaged it badly," he said.
"In hospital I told the Monaco coach, Didier Deschamps, ‘It’s too painful. I can’t play. I can’t even walk!’ but the team needed me, so the doctors tried everything to take away the pain. Nothing worked. Then someone from the club staff said, ‘Why don’t you just go old school?’"
While most of us would potentially eye some kind of substitute method, one of the staff at the club urged the left back to place a piece of raw chicken inside his shoe. Because, why not?
“He said, ‘Just slide a chicken down his boot.’ “It sounded crazy but, you know me, I’m open minded," he added, which, to be fair, I think we're all already well aware of. "So I went to my local butcher. The butcher said, ‘What do you want?’ I said, ‘A piece of chicken. But just a tiny one.’ He said, ‘A tiny one? How come?’ I said, ‘I’m gonna put it in my boot.’
“He just laughed. I went home with the chicken. I ordered new boots: one in size 42.5, the other in size 44. I passed the ball. [It] felt okay. Painful, but okay. So I ended up playing with chicken in my boot for four months. I didn’t train with it — my mother would never have forgiven me for wasting food — but before every game I would visit the butcher. ‘Morning, Patrice. The usual, yeah?’"
So much was the success of the then-Monaco defender's ailment, he went on to become something of a legend in the Premier League. Apparently, all he had to do was to pluck the courage to be different.
He concluded: “The chicken enabled me to play so well that, in January 2006, I was signed by Manchester United.”