Thursday, July 14, 2011

INFTH Top 100: Numbers 26 and 25 Patrice Evra- Still the best left back in the world, Patrice Evra produced yet another impressive set of performances last season.

Since signing from Monaco several years ago, Evra has been a huge hit in English football, winning trophies galore for Manchester United, and proving himself as one of the finest full backs of all time.

After a disappointing World Cup with France, many expected Evra to crash and burn with United in the Premier League, but after rejecting the advances of Inter and Real, Evra continued to provide solidity in defense and dynamism in attack. In fact, the Frenchman even managed to score a rare goal, a header just before half time against Wigan at Old Trafford.

In a footballing era short of high quality left backs, Evra has consitently shone ahead of the rest, taking over Ashley Cole's positon as top left back in England, before making a move for the European crown.

Going into next season, Evra is expected to continue as starting left back, though the ascendance of Fabio Da Silva will provide him with the challenge necessary to keep him on his toes. Pepe- Originally a center half, Pepe proved last season that he has the versatility to move to midfield, and the defensive nouse to shut down some of the greatest exponents of that particular position...

Playing under Jose Mourinho, Pepe was expected to be a key part of the Portuguese's plans, forming the second part of a stellar central defensive partnership also featuring Ricardo Carvahlio.

However, it was not what Pepe did in defense which highlighted his season, but rather his travails in the center of midfield, where he was a crucial part of Jose Mourinho's partially successful "shut down Barca" plan. The Portuguese international helped to curb the creative influence of Xavi and Iniesta, providing muscle in the central area, and a Spanish Cup title or Real.

Unfortunately though, an unjust red card in the first leg of the all Spanish Champions League semi  consigned Pepe to a season without European success, though you can be sure he'll be back next year with that rather big eared trophy set in his sights.

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