Man United’s Evra ’embarrassed’ to be in Europa League
Patrice Evra says having to play in the Europa League will be "embarrassing" for Manchester United following their shock exit
Patrice Evra has described having to play in the Europa League as “embarrassing” following Manchester United’s shock elimination from the Champions League.
United suffered a 2-1 defeat in Basel to relegate Sir Alex Ferguson’s men to the Europa League as they became the first team to fail to make it through the group stage after reaching the final the season before.
“We should have woken up earlier in this competition,” said Evra after the game. “It feels like a dream. I feel I will wake up tomorrow and we will have qualified. But it is not a dream, it is the reality.
“Even if it is a friendly, when I pull on a United shirt I do my best to win that trophy. But it is embarrassing to be in the Europa League.
“I play for Manchester United to play in the Champions League but some players dream of playing for United in any competition and you have to respect that.”
United boss Ferguson admitted Europa League football is his side’s “penalty” for failing to reach the last 16 of Europe’s elite club competition.
“Of course we’re disappointed,” said Ferguson. “You have to deal with the disappointment, and this club has used it as motivation many times. It’s a loss because it’s the best tournament in the world.
“We had so much possession of the ball and so many really good opportunities in the last third of the field. Some of our play up to that point was very good but you have to say we let ourselves down with the finishing past.
“The Europa League is a competition I’ve never been in at United and it does mean one thing – Sundays right through. Thursdays and Sundays. That’s got to be dealt with and it’s not the best but that’s our penalty for not qualifying tonight.”