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Manchester United defender gets international call-up despite criticism of national treasures

Patrice Evra is in the French squad for the play-offs against Ukraine next week, despite recently criticising Lilian Thuram and Bixente Lizarazu.

Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra has found himself in hot water back in his French homeland recently, after he made some comments about legendary French players such as Lilian Thuram and Bixente Lizarazu - considering the fact these were two pillars of the magnificent French team that dominated world football at the turn of the Millennium it was always likely that he would cause uproar back home.

It would be like Ashley Cole laying into Bobby Charlton and Gordon Banks; it just isn’t the done thing.

It was certainly not a controversy Les Bleus needed in the run up to their play-off match with Ukraine for the FIFA World Cup.

But if one nation knows more about controversy and division then us, it is probably France.

Look at the fall-out after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Zinedine Zidane head-butting Marco Materazzi, the Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery sex scandal, the suspension of several up and coming youngsters earlier in the year for partying before being dumped out of the Under-21 Championships by Norway. Not long after Evra criticised the French legends it emerged that Ribery had threatened to slap Gerard Houllier - Les Blues without drama just would not be Les Bleus.

But despite being warned by the French Football Federation about his comments, Didier Deschamps has not let the furore affect his decision process for the playoffs - as Evra is included.

Deschamps, who captained Lizarazu and Thuram to World and European dominance in 1998 and 2000 respectively, has decided to call the player up anyway - despite the outcry in France at his comments.

Evra is one of 11 Premier League players in the squad, and will be expected to stop the advances of Andriy Yarmolenko when the two teams go head-to-head next week.

It has been a close call for the Manchester United player, with the likes of Gael Clicky, Aly Cissokho and Jeremy Mathieu breathing down his neck he must be more careful in the future or risk his place in Brazil next summer.

That is if this continually troubled French outfit can get past Ukraine first.

image: © nasmac

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