Patrice Evra says he is eagerly awaiting Saturday’s showdown with Milan at the San Siro and revealed the opportunity to play in such big Serie A encounters was one of the main reasons behind his decision to join Juventus.
The defender, starring on Jtv’s Filo Diretto, believes the Bianconeri will be in for a tough test against a Milan side who have also made a 100 per cent start to the season - but claims the reigning champions will not be found wanting for a lack of desire when they cross the white line at the weekend.
The 33-year-old began: “It’s a difficult game, but I can’t wait to play. This was exactly the type of match I wanted to be involved in when I signed for Juventus. They have home advantage but it’s down to us to show that we’re the champions and want to win.”
This weekend’s return to Serie A action is the third game in the space of seven days for the Bianconeri, who got their Champions League campaign off to a triumphant start with Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Malmo.
After impressing on his full debut against Udinese, Evra put in another strong performance on the left flank and expressed his delight at helping the team emerge unscathed from a potential early banana skin.
“Every game in the Champions League is tough. People may say it’s only Malmo, but the first home game is always difficult. I’m delighted we got the three points as it’s important to respect the club’s history by winning in the Champions League. This team has plenty of desire to do well and we’ll take one game at a time."
Having already won Europe’s premier club competition with Manchester United back in 2008, the Frenchman knows what is required for teams to flourish in high pressure situations.
And he claims there are plenty of similarities between the environment he left behind in England and his new world at Juventus.
“This is the only club I would have left Manchester United for. Juve's history and winning mentality made it the perfect choice for me. It's similar to Manchester in the sense that no effort is spared in giving you the best possible conditions in which to work."
With a winning CV of his own, Evra is one of the senior players who the Bianconeri’s burgeoning stock of young talents look to for guidance.
He reserved praise for one in particular, fellow Frenchman and new arrival Kingsley Coman, who has caught the eye since swapping Paris for Turin in the summer.
“Coman has really impressed me. When you’re a young player people tell you how good you are, but if you don’t have the right mentality you’ll never go anywhere. Kingsley, however, wants to work hard and has his feet on the ground. Besides, his dad has given me permission to get tough with him if he doesn’t listen!”