Patrice Evra won Premier League and Champions League titles alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, but if the Portuguese ever invited his old Manchester United pal around for a spot of lunch now, he’d probably say no.
Ronaldo ranks among the greatest footballers of all-time and it’s a reputation built around an incredible work ethic and fitness regimen that has helped the Real Madrid man reach the peak of physical fitness.
Unfortunately, for Evra, he found out just how far that dedication went during a trip to Ronaldo’s house in Manchester for a bit of lunch.
Speaking on ITV Sport’s World Cup podcast, Evra opened up about one such afternoon and why it proved to be a trip to forget.
“I would give advice to anybody, when Cristiano invites you for lunch at his house, just say no,” Evra said.
“He said, ‘Patrice, come over after training.’ I went, you know I was really tired, [and] at the table there was only salad and plain white chicken so I was like, okay, and water, not any juice and we started eating and I was thinking some big meat would be coming after that but there was nothing.
“He just finished and he stood up and he started playing with a ball, doing some skills and he said, ‘Let’s do some two-touch.'”
Ronaldo has gone on to win four Champions League titles and two La Liga titles with Real in the years since, thanks in no small part to this kind of work ethic.
However, Evra, who had already worked his socks off in training, wasn’t impressed with Ronaldo’s suggested.
Ronaldo is relentless in his bid to add the biggest collective and personal honours to his already glittering career.
For Evra, a man happy to kick back having worked hard in training, the intensity only increased following the lightest of lunches.
“I was like, ‘can I just finish eating?'” Evra said.
“‘No, no let’s play two-touch,’ we start playing two touch. After that he said let’s go to the pool to swim, I was like okay… after going in the jacuzzi, the sauna, I’m done.
“I say, ‘Cristiano why have we come here, have we come here because we have a game tomorrow, or just for lunch?'”
“So that’s why I would recommend to anyone when Cristiano invite you to his house, don’t go – just say no because this guy, he’s a machine, he doesn’t want to stop training.”
Evra also lifted the lid on Ronaldo’s competitive streak, which saw him become obsessed with table tennis after losing to team-mate Rio Ferdinand.
It was an obsession that saw Ronaldo train daily in a bid to get his revenge.
“With Rio Ferdinand, they were playing table tennis and Rio beat him, and we were all screaming and Ronaldo was so upset,” Evra said.
“Then he sent his cousin to buy a tennis table, he trained for two weeks at home and he came back and he beat Rio in front of everyone.
“So that’s Cristiano Ronaldo, so that’s why I’m not surprised today why he wants to win another golden ball, why he wants to win the World Cup. Because he’s an angry man.”
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.