Friday 22 November 2019

Patrice Evra in warning to Luis Suarez: "I'll shake your hand, but you'll feel my presence"

Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra will meet in the Champions League final
Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra will meet in the Champions League final

Patrice Evra has warned Luis Suarez he will make sure the Uruguayan "feels his presence" when the pair go head to head in the Champions League final.

But the defender said he would shake the Barcelona striker's hand before the match.

Former Manchester United man Evra's Juventus side booked a meeting with Barca in Berlin next month by knocking out Real Madrid with a 3-2 aggregate win on Wednesday night.

The pair controversially clashed when Premier League opponents, then-Liverpool forward Suarez snubbing Evra during the pre-match handshakes at Old Trafford in 2012 as they met for the first time since Suarez was banned for eight matches for racially abusing the Frenchman.

On the prospect of going up against Suarez again, Evra told reporters: "A lot of people ask me this question. It doesn't matter. The most important thing is I play the final, you know.

"I am proud to be what I am, I am proud about my colour and I will shake his hand, it is no problem, but I will make sure he feels my presence on the pitch."

Alvaro Morata was glad to have fired Juve into their first Champions League final since 2003 but he is not celebrating the achievement - at least not in his home town of Madrid.

The 22-year-old forward scored the second of his two goals in the 1-1 draw on Wednesday night at the Bernabeu Stadium to set up the June 6 showdown with Barca.

"I'm delighted and would like to thank the Juve fans,"Morata said on his club's official website. "We'll do everything to lift the cup."

Morata joined Juve last summer after helping Real win Europe's elite club competition for a record 10th time.

The Spain international was not content with his role as a substitute under coach Carlo Ancelotti and jumped at the chance to join the then three-time defending Serie A champions.

Immediately after scoring the most important goal of Juve's season and his career on Wednesday, Morata kept his emotions in check.

"I grew up here in Madrid so I was never going to celebrate against Real," he said. "I heard the odd whistle when I left the field and that made me feel bad.

"I was just doing my job."

Morata did not hit the ground running in Turin because soon after joining Juve, he sustained an injury that sidelined him for the start of the season.

Once he returned to full fitness, the Spaniard underlined his value with seven goals in 27 league appearances while playing up front with Serie A's top scorer Carlos Tevez.

Morata has also set up more goals to help Juve win their fourth straight scudetto.

He had scored just twice in this season's Champions League before facing his former team, while Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon says the sky is the limit for Morata.

"He has done so well and we thank him," Buffon said. "He always gives his best in training and he has room for improvement.

"If he continues like this, he can become one of the best."

One of the reasons Morata chose to sign for Juve was to have the opportunity to play alongside Buffon, a World Cup winner in 2006 and one of the world's greatest goalkeepers.

Morata had gone up against Buffon in last season's Champions League.

"Buffon's words honour me," he said. "Just last year when I played against him in the Champions League I ran up to him to get his jersey.

"He is a hero of mine."

Morata will now face familiar foes Barcelona in the final.

"It will be a to be tough match," he said. "But we can do it together. We'll do everything to lift the Cup."

PA Media

The Left Wing: Champions Cup returns, Jacob Stockdale's development, and Simon Zebo goes back to Munster

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport