Patrice Evra: Former France star opens up about sexual abuse
Manchester United defender says his abuser, now dead, taught him to control his own violence.
By Scott M. Steinberg
Updated: Sunday, April 28, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT
Manchester United defender Marouane Fellaini has always played with a chip on his shoulder.
After playing for Paris Saint-Germain for five years, the Belgian was sold to Manchester United in January for £27 million ($44 million). During his first two seasons, he won the UEFA Champions League, the English Premier League and the Club World Cup.
In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Golden Boy award — the sport’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy — which recognizes young, promising players in Europe. After spending the entire 2014 season as the club’s starting left back, he was selected as a finalist in the Ballon d’Or for the first time, along with Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, Lionel Messi and Neymar.
In the years since his initial struggles, he has experienced much success. A World Cup winner and a Champions League winner, he has been voted the most valuable player in the Premier League this season, after having made more than 400 appearances in a Manchester United uniform.
Fellaini has had a tough road to where he has been. While he has overcome some of the physical and personal challenges in his career, he has also had to deal with the physical and verbal abuse he has endured.
“The abuse at the hands of our teammate is one of the more awful things I have ever been through,” he said. “He has never done anything to me as a player. To have it go on for three or four years, it’s quite a big burden to carry.”
During his first few years at Manchester United, Fellaini had been living under the threat of blackmail and a criminal investigation into an alleged sexual assault of a female fan. The victim, who was under the impression her accusations would never lead to her abuser being prosecuted, was the