As he prepares for his second clash against a Foxtel A-League All Stars side, new Juventus signing Patrice Evra says Australian football is improving evidenced by the Socceroos’ performance at Brazil 2014.
“Australia had a great World Cup and they deserved to win against Holland I believe,” the French international told the media on Friday at the Sydney Opera House.
“I’d always thought Australia was a rugby country, but football is really developing here and Juve are extremely popular.”
Evra is here for a second year running.
Last year, in the red of United against the Foxtel A-League All Stars, and now in the black and white of Juventus against the same opponent.
He admitted it was hard to leave United but is relishing a new challenge with the Italian champions.
“We have to win the league again,” he declared.
“Four times in a row is not easy, we couldn’t do it at Manchester United, plus we have to do well in the Champions League.
“We are doing everything to get ready ... we want to do our best to win everything. That is our target.”
Fresh from a huge 8-1 win over an Indonesian Select XI on Wednesday night, Evra warned his team-mates to expect a difficult match when the Italian champions take on the Foxtel A-League All Stars on Sunday night.
And despite the Red Devils coming away from last year's match against the Ange Postecoglou-coached All Stars with a 5-1 victory, the French international expects a torrid battle against Josep Gombau’s side at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
“I remember last year it was not an easy game. It will definitely be a tougher game than the one we played in Jakarta,” Evra said.
After starting off the bench in Jakarta on Wednesday night, the experienced left-back is expected to start against the All Stars on Sunday at ANZ Stadium.
It means the likes of Youssouf Hersi, Bernie Ibini and Storm Roux can expect a busy night down the right wing for the home side.
“The Australian players are getting better. Last year when I came with Manchester United we won the game (5-1) but it was not an easy game.
“We scored really early and it was a difficult opponent. That’s why I will make sure I will tell my team it will be a different opposition than we had in Jakarta."
Having come to Australia now for a second time, Evra didn’t rule out returning in the future, perhaps for a stint in the Hyundai A-League.
“You never know. My friend William Galllas finished his career in Australia so you never know,” he said when asked.
The FOXTEL A-League All Stars play Juventus at ANZ Stadium, Sydney on Sunday evening with the match to be broadcast live and exclusive on the Seven Network's 7Mate channel nationally.Match Details FOXTEL A-League All Stars v Juventus FC Sunday 10 August 2014 ANZ Stadium, Sydney Kick-Off: 7:30 pm AEST Click here to buy your tickets online. To purchase over the phone, please call Ticketek on 132 849 or get your tickets from your local Ticket agency. Ticket Prices Category A - $169.50 all tickets Category B - $99.50 Adult, $59.50 Concession, $258.50 Family Category C - $59.50 Adult, $39.50 Concession, $158.50 Family Juventus Active Area - $59.50 Adult, $39.50 Concession Ticket Prices are inclusive of GST & Booking Fee. Transaction and credit card charges may apply. Ticket Price includes Public Transport, conditions apply. Broadcast Schedule Sydney 6.30pm LIVE on 7mate Melbourne 6.30pm LIVE on 7mate Brisbane 6.30pm LIVE on 7mate Adelaide 6pm LIVE on 7mate Perth 4.30pm LIVE on 7mate Brisbane 6.30pm LIVE on 7mate Hashtag: #ALvJUVE
Young Socceroos set for kick off in 2018 SBS Cup
A selection of Australia’s finest U18 footballers commence their 2018 SBS Cup campaign in Japan tomorrow evening. Ante Milicic’s side take on the host nation at Fujieda Stadium at 7.30pm kick off (AEST). AUSSIES ABROAD: Maclaren, Vukovic impress in Europe READ: Why Rene
Instant MLS impression a promising sign for Brad Smith
Brad Smith played just over four hours of football for Bournemouth last season. But it took 73 minutes for the Caltex Socceroos fullback to claim accord with new club Seattle Sounders after an impressive Major League Soccer debut yesterday. AUSSIES ABROAD: Maclaren, Vukovic
'It feels like I've never been away': Jamie Maclaren's relief after summer in the dark
From an initial FIFA World Cup™ omission to constant uncertainty over his future, it’s been a difficult summer for Jamie Maclaren. However, after making his first start of the season for Hibernian yesterday, the Caltex Socceroos striker feels right back at home in Scottish Pre