Patrice Evra had a major part to play when France famously refused to leave the team bus before the World Cup group game against South Africa.
Rightly or wrongly, it has affected his reputation ever since. In an interview with radio station RMC, he has tried to clear the air, or perhaps conveniently the day before Didier Deschamps picks his friendly squad for the game against Netherlands.
He is a player that divides opinion all over France. Away from his off the pitch antics, his below par performances have been question for some time. Although being continually selected by Sir Alex Ferguson, makes it clear that the legendary manager still thought he could play at the top.
Many believe that only a lack of experienced options has led to Evra's continued selection, but he was quick to dismiss any fears over his place in the French line-up.
I hope to be picked and selected for the French team for the World Cup, but I never play with fear. I never look at others. I'm not arrogant, but if I'm playing well, I know I'll play. If I am not, Didier will pick someone else."
When asked if he would retire from International football after the tournament the left-back who turns 33 in May was quick to discuss this summer's tournament instead.
"I really want to enjoy myself, to enjoy every moment, give everything I have for my teammates, so that they can give the best of themselves to be efficient for my country."
The interview came on the show that is hosted by former French international Luis Fernandez, a person that Evra make damming remarks about during an interview on Telefoot, but this appearance was to show that everything had been forgiven and the player was trying to move on. He was asked if the World Cup would be an opportunity to redeem himself to the French public.
"Everyone makes mistakes in life. Going there for redemption put unnecessary pressure on yourself. I am going to have fun and represent the shirt, to win games, give everything I have so that the team wins."
His situation is very similar of that to Manchester City's Samir Nasri. Both have recently been interviewed and mentioned about growing up and doing all they can for the team, and with both players the next stage is the most important.
Patrice Evra now needs to perform on the pitch, so that he can be the leader and inspiration that the French team needs, and make headlines on the pitch, rather than off it.
images: © nasmac