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Evra tribute to Salvioni for dream Man Utd move

Star defender Patrice Evra admits he would probably never have played for Manchester United had it not been for Sandro Salvioni.

The little-known Italian coach was in charge of Nice during the 2000-01 campaign as Evra tried to make his mark on the left wing.

During a late-season injury crisis Salvioni ordered Evra to play in defence, much to the player's annoyance.

Despite frequent rows over the issue, Evra ended up getting a move to Monaco on the back of his impressive performances, featuring in a Champions League final before arriving at Old Trafford in a £5million deal during the 2006 January transfer window.

"When I first started out, I was an attacker," he recalled. "One day, when I was at Nice, the coach asked me to play left-back. I told him he was mad - so he told me I would be out of the team if I didn't.

"Thankfully it worked out because it enabled me to join Manchester United because one of the things Sir Alex Ferguson said to me when I arrived was that he liked my attacking play.

"First and foremost, I do now think of myself as a defender but I still like to go forward when I get the chance."

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