How Being Emotional Saved My Life : Patrice Evra | E105 | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "How Being Emotional Saved My Life : Patrice Evra | E105".
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Me play was... It was just a dream. Growing up, he's a family 24-pros and sister. One breast chicken was... ...for three days. Growing up in the street, you need to survive. Now when I have those images in my head, I could hear him trying to touch me and touching himself in the same time next to the bed, you know. I was even attaching my pajama with my shoelaces because to make sure I can't put it down. One day he did, and I was just like terrorized. So that's the things I grew up with. Like, you know, I can't cry. For me, crying was a sign of weakness. When I do a video and I see a comment, someone say, "Oh, Patrice, my dad passed away. I watched one of your videos and I smiled. Thank you." This is more important for me than win the Champions League or the Premier League. I'm not perfect. And I don't want to be perfect. I want to be me. Patrice Evere. I've just sat here with him for an hour and a half. And at the very end of the conversation, he said something which I think is the perfect description of the man. He referred to himself as an iceberg. I've followed him for almost two decades and he was, to me, this football icon, this tough guy, this defender, this champion. But as he says in this conversation, the part of the iceberg that I never got to see was the most compelling, was the most heartbreaking, and was the most interesting. He grew up in a rough part of France with 24 brothers and sisters. He was sexually abused by his head teacher. His brother, a drug addict, overdosed and died. His mother raised him in total poverty to the point where he stole his food, his shoes, and his entertainment. He endured an early upbringing that you would never wish on any child, an enemy, or anyone at all, in any circumstances ever. And he hit it all. He hit it all for his entire life. And only recently has he found it within himself, after very personal conversations with his mother, to share it with the world. And only today on this podcast has he decided to share some of those heartbreaking details. After watching him on TV for almost two decades, I thought I knew Patrice Evere, this comedian, football champion, funny guy, happy guy. I was wrong. All I knew was the tip of the iceberg. So without further ado, I'm Stephen Bartlett, and this is the day of CEO. I hope nobody's listening, but if you are, then please keep this yourself. I've sat here with a lot of guests, and sometimes I feel obliged to start with their childhoods, because it seems like the foundation of most people, specifically successful people, tends to be the case that the things they go through at an early age, especially with my sort of little background in childhood psychology, tend to shape them the most. But when I read your story in your book, that's just come out. Having watched you on screen as a Manchester United fan for many, many a decade, and seen subsequently the guy you were on Instagram, the hilarious entertaining person, I never, ever would have guessed ever that that was your upbringing, that was your childhood. I would have guessed, by the person that I came to know on screen, by the person that I watched on Instagram, I would have guessed the opposite. Take me back to before you were 10 years old, because I know that 10 years old was a really pivotal moment in your life, because your father left.
Personal Journey And Career In Football
Your early years (04:00)
What was life like before 10? It was an happy, happy child, a lot of people inside the house. Sometimes you have to make sure you're ready when mum said the food is ready. It was like sleeping with two of my siblings in the same bed, a single bed, and two was sleeping that way and one on that way. Sometimes it was like some smelly feet, but we need space. And it was all about sharing, but I will tell you something. I was happy. Even if I was begging in front of shop to buy a sandwich, I couldn't say that time I wasn't happy. I was the most happy child. But it was tough and maybe sometime I was just in conscious. But of course, I think when my dad left, that's when I was like, "Okay, I'm not scared of anyone in this house. So now I have to grow up on my own." And that's when I was like, I would say more close to the street, because when my dad was here, just when I was saying like that, I want to go and play outside with my friend, he was like, "Have you done your own work?" Even I swear, even if I did my own work, I was scared to say yes. So when you say yes to him, he was like, "Okay, bring me your book." And I remember he was like, "Okay, which lesson you have to learn tomorrow?" And I was like doing the lesson perfectly. And he was going to the first page of the book and saying like, "Okay, tell me about this." And I couldn't remember. I was like, "Yeah, but that we did this at the beginning. This is like, okay, when you learn your full book, then you will be able to go outside." So my dad, when he was at home, we didn't miss anything. We have food on the table. Everything was perfect. I had like a big screen TV. I remember we were one of the first family in where I grew up in my street to have that big screen and all my friend they come. So I couldn't, I will never complain when my dad was here. He did his job perfectly, but the only things, my dad teach me crying is a weakness. So when he was like, punishing someone and you cry, that's when you're going to beat you even more. So that's the things I grew up with. I can't cry. That's when we can talk about that toxic masculinity. They understand crying is normal. But for me, crying was a sign of weakness. Why did he leave? He leave because my mom divorced him and sometime he was violent with her. And I remember you know, being kids and no one asked me these questions. That's why I'm a little bit emotional. And you know, my mom was like, no one man can raise his hand on me. So she divorced. He had to leave. She went to the police and he had to go. And it was a tough moment because when you see your dad leaving, no matter if you know the reason, he shouldn't have done that. Same taking all the so far, the big TV, the big screen. He was with a big trunk waiting for him. And we were all of my brothers and sister crying because you know, it's your dad. But at the same time, when he was doing to my mom, he wasn't right. So did you witness that? Yeah, I think like, you know, sometime we try to open the door and if you open that door, you know, it was really scary. And if you, when you heard your mom like fighting back, because to be fair, my mom, she's a strong woman. You know, and my dad, he said that now, he said like, don't play with your mom because she's a strong woman. So in that time, yeah, when you experience that, you just terrorize you like, what's going on? You know, it's your parents. They should like kiss each other. So yeah. And you look back on that moment, he left, obviously incredibly sad moment. But are you happy that he left, considering? The problem, you know, when you kid, you, you don't really understand. I was happy because my mom, at the end, you know, she was, she was happy. But to see you that left, leaving no matter which reason, you can't be happy. Now I understand the reason. I forgive him. But saying I was happy now. So he leaves, your life takes a turn after that because you've lost that figure in your life. And maybe a bit of, I don't know, restriction has left the family home. So you can act on other motivations and incentives and other ways to survive, I guess. And what, what's the, what person did you become after that? I would say a warrior, like a warrior. Yeah. I think a survivor, because after you, like I say, you know, it's you in the street. And oh, oh, I kill you or you kill me. You know, when you grow up in the street, that's why I hate when some people, they talk about their background and they'll say like, oh, I was a gangster. No, I will never call myself a gangster. I was just a survivor. And it was difficult, you know. So yeah, like you say, when he left, no more restriction, going out, fighting outside, lying to your mom, the police, you know, bring me one day home around 1 a.m. My mom was so worried, like, I don't remember it was so funny because some words, I didn't even know what they mean. So when they bring me back home and my mom was, you know, just she put her, like a hand on him off. What's going on? She was, you know, his son, you know, bring back from the police. And I was like, my mom, just being in a complex. And she beat me like so bad. But now I understand it's even worse, you know, because I was like, I didn't steal. I just was looking when my friend was stealing and stuff like that. So it was just a mess. And no one, even my school teacher, when they were talking to me at school, I was like, can you put the volume down? You're not my dad. So I didn't let anyone, you know, talking like saying you can't do this, you can't do that. But I always respect my mom and my brother and my sister. And I was a, I was respectful with my friend. But when someone tried to give me some authority, he couldn't have it because I was like, the one I have like the most authority on me was my dad, he left. So now I don't need any authority from no one. And you get you start, I read you started stealing things. Yeah, I started selling weed. Yeah, I think stealing was, was normal because I was like, with my friend, I remember the first time I, I stealing was some gum. And you know, I was hanging up with my friend, they were stealing. I wasn't because I was still like having a good education for my dad, for my mom. And to be part of the group, you need to, you know, it's like some people when they drink because they find that excuse to be like social. So it was stealing. So I started stealing. And everyone clapped me. So I was like, wow, finally I'm part of the gun. And from there, you go like to deal like video games, to sell weed, you know, to having the best like sneakers and, you know, even offering some stuff to your girlfriend. I offer even like a bathroom to my mom, you know, and I was so proud because I was like, at the end, you know, my dad left and a few of my brothers assistant left after that also. So I was like, I'm the man, I need to be in charge. I need to feed my family. It wasn't the right way every time. But at least I was like, you know, my mom, like, when I offer him like a bottle of perfume and I see who happy she was, but she was like always where that come from. And I was like, lying, you know, it's just my friend, you know, he bought it for me. But that wasn't me. It wasn't myself stealing it. Some years after your father left, you did you talk about in the book, in the opening chapters of the book about your headmaster. Yeah. And you were 13 years old, you you ended up staying at his house. And he sexually assaulted you. Yeah. I think this is why one of the most regret I had in my life to not speak up in that day. How did you come to be at his house? It's really simple. It's because Brittany, it was far from my house. I have to take two trains to go to school because I went to that school because it was a school where, you know, you go to football, you after school, you have to train.
Child abuse (13:26)
So it wasn't an academy, but it was a school where you can train also. So it was a good opportunity to be fair. My mom was like, it's good. He's leaving the street because he will end up in jail or dead. So it's perfect for him. So I went there and I was taking like, you know, two trains four hours some time and losing my school bag, sleeping on the train, you know, even sometimes end up like to another destination. So it was a mess and a school teacher, a teacher, he speaks to me, said, you won't like to stay because I'm living inside the school. He has his home inside the school. So I went back home and I say to my mom, you know, he offered that. And my mom was like, not sure about it at the beginning because even when I tell her, I would speak later about it, she she, I knew it. And she was like, are you sure? Can you trust this man? I was like, yeah, he seemed nice, mom. So that eight teacher at the beginning, everything was perfect. It was cooking for me in the evening. He was letting me play his Nintendo, he had the Nintendo at the time. So I was like, yeah, that's that's cool. You know, I don't need to go back home on the weekend. And I just stay here. And then every night I was in my bed and every time he was coming, you know, in my room and it was the first time I was like, maybe, you know, just say, come to say good night. But he was, I was sleeping and I was feeling in hand on my body. And I was like, oh, what's going on, you know, then he was trying to touch me. But I was like holding his hand. So he was like a fight for for 10 minutes. And I was still couldn't understand I was 13. But you know, I didn't have any sexual relation, even with any girls at that time. So for me, was everything was new. I was like, what's what's going on, you know, we fight many times. And he didn't succeed. And he was, you know, now when I have those image in my head, I could hear him trying to touch me and touching himself in the same time next to the bed, you know, then he was living. And every time I was like, oh, it's gone. So he's start to become a ritual. Every time I go to bed, becoming the same things, fight everything, fight, fight. And one day, you know, I was even attaching my pyjama with my laces, like I remember, yeah, shoelaces, because to make sure like he can't put it down and we feel, you know, he was trying like on the top of my clothes, but fighting there. So one day he did, he put my pants down and he put my penis in his mouth. And I was just like, tell right. I remember I was just I just freeze. You know, I know he said, but enough, I just freeze. I couldn't. I didn't understand what's going on. Then he left. Then I wake up. I can't even remember what's happened because, you know, those things you just like erase them from your memory. So I back to school. I think in school, I was thinking about what's what's happening. It's like something normal then. Then I went to my say, mama, don't want to sleep anymore to that teacher. She said, why? I said, no, I just don't. I never tell her the reason until now. So after that, I leave all my life with that. From the street, you know, you come back, you like imagine you tell that to one of your friend. You're going to say, you know, you're weak, all of those stuff. So even for me, when I had my first sexual relation, it was weird because I had this man in my head, you know, and this I never told that to anyone. So I was like massively traumatized. Then actually, because all of that, I back to my school where I grew up in the street and I stopped even going to that school, even like people were like, but you're so good at football. Why I said, I don't need it. I will keep training on my own on the street. You know, I don't want to be in that school anymore. So yeah, I grew up with that things for so many years. And what I feel as a cohort is when I was 24 years old, not 20 years old. And I was still playing for Monaco at the time. And the police called me. I miss the number of pictures. Yeah. You know, we got a lot of complaining about that. A teacher, I don't even remember his name. I don't even tell you his face because I erase all of this in my memory. It's been a lot of complaining about child being abused about that teacher. Did he touch you? No. Are you sure? Yeah, I'm sure. And I was angry even when people asked me that question, you know, it's like, oh, there someone asked me about that. But the phone down. So all this year, I was like, wow, Patris, you had the opportunity when you were 13 years old, you didn't. I will understand. But now you 20. And you couldn't just what because you still shame of it. Because you're famous. You scale off the reaction of the people. But doing that, that day, that's why growing up, when people say Patris, you're good guys. I wasn't feeling that way because I was feeling as a cover. I covered the cover, yeah, because he wasn't about Patris. It was about the other child I let down when the police call me is about the other child is still being abused right now. So coming out with this, helped me a lot. And I have to say a massive thanks to the woman of my life, Margot, because you know, sometimes people say you need a psycho logo, but in life, sometimes it's about which person you meet. And someone I really believe in energy. And to be fair, after that, trusting anyone of psycho logging. I would say, baby, I will tell him this, you don't care. It's just pay for that job. Some of them are really good. I never, I never meet any psycho about me. That woman like she was a romantic partner. Yeah. She she she she make me being myself and being honest with myself. Don't be shame of anything, baby. And I'm here. And I will never meet Patris, the tough guys. Don't throw in emotion. Think a woman can, you know, extract those real emotion for myself. I was like, wow, so years old, there was a day you told you shared that with her. Yeah. Can you tell me about that? Like I said, the day I shared that with her, it was, you know, when she met me, I was 38. So I was just retired from football, doing all my things. And so my God, you seem so happy and such a positive man. But I do you care about yourself? I said, yeah. And she asked me one simple question. Are you happy? Yes, I'm happy. I'm happy, you know, I make you happy. I make my Patris, what make you happy? I'm happy. No, I'm just saying like I'm happy. This is not the non swear. So she go deep. And we didn't talk about the subject. I say, no, I'm fine. She said, no, because I can see, yes, you're an impulsive person. You like to fight, you say, because this from the street and everything. But I think you got something you got to paint on your chest. And you don't want, I was like, I'm fine. I'm fine. Then one day, we watched something and it was about pedophile and stuff. So again, she looked at my face, she said, like, you okay? I said, yeah, okay. Why you ask me now? But she's, I feel you. You're hiding something. I say, why you, why you, you know, I don't like when people want to try inside, go to get inside. I'm fine. I was still closing the door. If you love me, you should like, tell me what's going on. I need to, I need to know already. I look at her, I just try crying like a baby. I cry like a baby. She hugged me. What's going on? And I tell her the full story. So she cried. She was like, I knew. Thank you. If you say that to someone, to the police, to your mom, I said, no, you are the first person. And I don't want to say to anybody else. Do you want to see a tear? Do you go for, do you want to go for therapy? And I said, I'm fine. I told you, no, Patris, you're going to explode one day. You need to, you know, let it out. Then when I cry and I feel much better about myself, and I was still like, you know, crying in front of her. Now she will take advantage of me. She will think I'm weak. But she was like, you know, baby, I even love you more. This is a strain. Stop thinking. This is a weakness. That's when she introduced me to that toxic masculinity. Couldn't understand before. She explained me what it was about. Like being a man is not like being strong or I was like, this is my education. This is the way I grow up. This is why the dad, like many dad, they do the same mistake. And I did the same with my first child, any sometimes he was talking to me. I was like, you got everything. What you complain? Come on. You know, when I was doing this, come on, don't be weak. That you know, it's painful. It's okay. But when I think about all of that, now I'm like, because I live with that toxic masculinity. And I think men like us have to change that. Crying is a strain. And you know, when you grow in the streets, just like holding the hand of your girlfriend is a sign of weakness, not allowed to do that. So I'm discovering myself. We're gonna believe that 38 years old, 40, I will start to discover myself. Now, everything makes sense that trauma make me become who I am. Like sometimes a soldier, like no emotion. I'm going to do the job. Sometimes I win some trophy. We celebrate. It was fake. I didn't, I wasn't like that happy. If you ask me, Patrice, are you happy now? I say yes. Now I'm complete. I'm content. I feel blessed and I feel lucky. But when I used to play football, I was a robot. I was just doing my job. Your brother, you talked about the fact that you started dealing drugs back when you were younger. And then your your brother started taking drugs. Yeah. This was a another massive trauma. You know, when you wake up in the, in the morning and you just want to go in the toilet and you open the door and you see your brother with, you know, and, oh, you say it as a needle, a needle. Yeah. And look at that you with like eyes, you know, like red eyes and just closing the door and you have to hold on your, you know, if you want to pee, you have to hold it because it's there and it was one toilet all out. So, and this teach me to never touch any drug because I saw my brother and he lost his life because of that.
Your brother (26:03)
He lost his life. He died as a overdose in Senegal. He even sell his, his document is French passport. And he went in Senegal and one day they called my mom, my auntie, say your son is dead in a bathroom. So it was tough for me to talk about this in my book because my mom, she's the son of my mom and I don't have the right to talk about it in my book because we're talking about a dead person. But I just unfortunately, this show me like taking drugs. I can lose my life, like the same for alcohol. I didn't drink until I was 33 years old because for me, the glass of alcohol, it was the homeless people living in my street. And anyway, my mom and my dad don't drink. So I never had that culture. So that's why I couldn't understand when I came in England and people were drinking, even like football players. And, you know, when we were going to party, they were always say to the waitress, "Can we have an old chocolate for Patris?" Because the alcohol and the drugs, it was like, "We're gonna end up dead, poison." So going back to this topic of toxic masculinity, it's something I've actually been thinking a lot about because my girlfriend, funnily enough, has started to talk to me a lot about the idea. This is what I was just remaining quiet and listening first. But she started talking to me a lot about the idea of the masculine and the feminine and how a rounded, healthy man embodies both sides of him and is able to tap into both sides of him. Sounds like your early years made you use one of those sides, which is the masculine side as a form of self-defense in many ways, as a way to survive. Because I'm hearing what you went through and I'm thinking, using the feminine energy, the emotion, the expression of how someone feels, care, the softness, wouldn't have been conducive with survival in that situation. So as you get 40 years on, how do you then unlearn your survival technique?
Toxic masculinity (28:16)
How do you unlearn the masculine defensive, don't cry, don't show weakness, which you now know is important for you to have good relationships, romantic relationships, to be balanced yourself, to be open, to be expressive, and to not self-destruct? What I love about you is the way you question myself. You're going to make me think, but you're right. If I have this feminine emotion in that time, I won't survive. Because we know women are more emotional than men. So what you just say to me, I'm like, yeah, Patris, you want to fight against that toxic masculinity, but you're happy when you need it. Now, because you're 40 years old, you don't need it anymore. And you're a dad now, so you're going to teach. You're going to teach, but I'd be honest with you, that's why my woman was scared when we have a son. She was like Patris, before he born, I don't want him to be like you. Wow. But that on my face. What do you mean? Yeah, I want him to be determinate, passionate, funny, positive, but I don't want him to have your emotion. Yeah, I was like, but I think, you know, when you cry, I would say like, don't cry. She was that's exactly what I'm talking about. When you cry, I want you to say, it's okay. Let your emotion out. But it's difficult for me at the beginning. So I was like, nah, I don't want him to cry when he fall and everything. And the funny part is when she was still pregnant, you know, when woman, this is a moral about relationship, because now I know relationship is not just about love, it's about caring and communication. You know, I don't want to be like now the priest, or because when I talk like there's so many people like, oh, I wish my husband is like, you know, I've been the bad guys too. So don't give me wrong. But now I'm more like feeling like, so back to that moment, we were in the car. She was with a drink. And I said, don't drink because it's bumpy. And you're gonna, and she hate like, you know, having a mark on a she drink, but it's all on the shirt. Yes, we don't show. She cry. I promise you, Steve, I cry instantly with her because I feel her. I feel a sadness. The whole Patrice will be like, comma, why are you crying just because you speak common? But in that moment, I didn't, I wasn't focused on the reason why she's crying. I was like, just on the emotion, she's crying. She's in pain. You don't need to fix it. She need a hug. The moment she saw me crying, she stopped crying. She stopped crying straight away. And for me, it was new. I was like, what's going on? I can even feel your pain. You know, sometimes you say you love someone, but this is like a deep love. Like even now, she cry, I cry automatically. Even now we're talking and when she's next to me, I miss her. I never experienced that. And now it's so special to come back to my son. When he cry now, you know, my woman can be, ah, come on, Lila's. I'm like, but it's okay. You know, it must be a reason because he's angry. So I'm the one softer now. So that's what I'm like, wow. It's just different men. We are the rule. If we argue because don't give me wrong, we argue like normal couple, we're not special, but it's just like we don't put it under the carpet. We fix it. But not like we force it in a natural way. When, for example, we argue straight away, and she said, we need to talk because women say, we need to talk, I'm not ready. We need to talk. I'm not, no, give me my space. Then I come back. Okay, let's talk about it. I'm apologize, but I'm apologize because I mean it, not because you force me to apologize. And you're not trying to win. I'm not trying to win. And then I understand I'm like, okay, baby, all lucky we are the special love we have right now. Like, I will never believe the way I believe in love right now. That's why I'm encouraging all the kids, the next generation. This love exists. But it exists. So it's again, it sounds like you're just recounting my life. Specifically over, I met a lady, she's called Melanie. And she was very keen. She said very similar things to me. She was like, there's something you've not told me about, etc. And her real sort of drive with me has been trying to make me tap into the feminine side of me, which again means opening up being vulnerable, removing my ego. When we argue it's to try and solve a problem as opposed to trying to win. And that also, and she slowly got this different person out of me in my previous relationship, snapping, leave, I'll just leave, right? Yeah. And then this one, it's like, she lets me speak. I let her speak. Okay, sometimes we, but we're both trying to understand the person and the thing that really changed and it's funny because when you talked about that day when you opened up with your partner about what I'd gone on, she created a safe space. And once you have that safe space and you learned that this is a safe space, this relationship is a safe space, you don't have to be that person you were in the streets, right? You don't even have to be the person you are in the group chat on WhatsApp. You can cry. You can say, babe, I feel insecure. I feel triggered. And that for me has been this like, tremendous catalyst in myself. Because now I can really investigate myself with someone, right? And know that they're not going to laugh at me or think I'm not a man. Because I'm crying or because I've got feelings, right? And that meant that again, when you just described the way you feel about her, the sense like when she's not by your side, you didn't know a love like this existed. I was saying that this morning. I've just left her in Indonesia. And I was saying, I didn't realize I could have a relationship like this with someone where every argument we have heals our relationship to a stronger place. It doesn't leave a scratch or a scar, which that's the thing, you know? You resume it perfectly. And like you say, sometimes when we have a discussion, like we all love even get even more stronger. Stronger, right? Because we are in love with each other. But what I like, what you say are words safe. Yeah, safe space. It's a safe space. Feeling safe. Yeah. Yeah. Allow to be yourself. I'll say that to my girlfriend now. So I say, this sounds like I've never said this before, but I'll literally say to her, I need a safe space. And that means that I'm about to say some things which might trigger you, might make you unhappy. But I need to say it because it's how I feel. So I'll literally say, give me a safe space. Yeah. And that means listen to me. But exactly, you know, I think it's easy to listen to someone, but to understand the person, you know, to saying, I heard you. This is different. Yeah. It means you really understand. Because you can talk for many hours. I'm like, yeah, I'm listening. Yeah. You're not waiting to speak. You build it. You're argument against the right. But exactly. But what you say, I think we've really seen that. And I was excited to come today. And I'm even more happy to be here and to keep like talking. We can talk, I think, many hours. Yeah. And I just feel like so open, even talking about you, you asked me a few questions about why my dad lived, many things like it was not easy to not cry. But I like that. But this is something, this is something that men need to hear. And think about just from what we've both learned from our stories there with relationships, but just even two men having a conversation like this, how freeing that is for us, how it's healing for us. But also, it allows us to form relationships, which are real and deep and meaningful where we don't want to be running out in the street. And so it's one of the real things I think is going to form a big part of my life, too, as you've successfully done with this book is trying to tell men without having to meet the women like we met, how to be in touch with the true, I don't even say the feminine side, the full version of themselves. I absolutely agree with you because this is a challenge, because we have a little help because we find someone, like you said, we feel open and we can, you can be yourself. But yeah, I think we should fight with that toxic masculinity because it's not good even for yourself, but even for your children for many, for many reasons. But you test me by saying, Patris, if you didn't have that masculine, the toxic masculinity, how you will be able to survive in that when you were that kid. And I will be looking at you straight away and saying, no. So it's a good subject. And I hope if you want to debate more about it, I will be a good client. Either way, we have to unline it. Right? We have to unline it once we've realized that it's not serving us. And that is admittedly a very slow process. One that goes, you know, because even I have to be very aware of that part of me, the masculine ego part of me. And I always think with trauma and with these kinds of things, you never actually fully recover. I think the most important thing is to put it out in front of you so that it's no longer controlling your life from the back room and ruining your relationships and stuff. Just for me, like I've got a lot of traumas from my childhood with my parents and to what their relationship, I still have them. And I just have them out in front of me. And the power they have over me has diminished. I know what the triggers are. I know I understand them. And I just want to keep them out in front of me so I can hopefully live a happy life. Quick one. It's now the fourth quarter of the year. We're coming into the winter months here in the UK, November, December, January. These are always, according to my Apple Watch, the months where my diet and my fitness fall off every single year. And for me, that means I tend to resort to junk food and I tend to stop going to the gym and working out. And this is why, for me, in the fourth quarter, heel is now my savior. I really, really, really mean that if you're the type of person that can resonate what I've just said and tends to fall off with your diet and your fitness in the fourth quarter, one thing I suggest you do is order a heel subscription. Get it in your fridge because for me, if it's there, I'll drink it. If it's not, I'll probably have a pizza at 4am in the morning and fries and a burger and an Oreo milkshake. So having it in my home makes health convenience. So order your heel subscription. Join me on this journey. I'm announcing something soon actually for people that want to get in shape in the new year. Super excited to talk to you about that and heel, your diet, avoiding junk food, being healthy, the immense minerals, proteins, and no crap is going to be a big part of that. And for me, that's why heel is in my life. Football. A bit of a segue. You're very good at football. I'm trying to figure out how you became so good at football with all of that stuff happening in your life and that culture you're in and what football was for you as a young man. I have everything. So football saved my life. When my friend, they were stealing, to get away from the stealing, I was like training on my own even when he was snowing, but come on Patrice, you're never going to succeed anywhere. You're from the street, you're a black person. You will never going to make it. Just find a white girlfriend with a lot of money. That's why it's the way the people, yeah, think in my street. Stop. You can just find a girl and I was like, no, I love football and I need to training every day.
What does football mean to you (40:38)
I remember even at school, sometime when we went to school and the teacher couldn't make it because of the traffic or the snow and they were like, okay, we freeze some kids. They wanted to go back home. I was like, no, no, no, no. It's a football pitch just next to the school we have to play. And I was fretting them. Sometimes they couldn't like some kid. I was like, if you don't come, I'm going to beat you. And they were coming and training. Yeah, I was forcing people to play football with me. Why? It's an addiction. I don't know. It was my reason of living. Is it your escape? I think I could say it was both. It was my escape, but it was also my love, my passion. Just when you give me like a football ball, it was like everything for me. You know, I remember that a teacher, the first day you come at school and they asked what you want to become later. And many people were lawyers, a policeman, many good job doctor. And me, she was reading whatever my note and football player. But I didn't even know what was football player. I was like, I play football, but so I'm a football player. And she was taking my note in front of everyone. And she was like, but she's thinking football player is a job. And everyone was laughing. Everyone, my friend, I was looking so. And she was going even deeper. She was a, but you know, if it's a trial and 300 kids, they will pick one kid. Do you think it's going to be you? I was like, yes. And everyone was even more laughing. But at the end now, I don't want to get any revenge with that teacher. I just want to make sure she don't say the same things to other kids. Because me in that time, I was really strong mentally. So no one can project their own fear. Because some people, I hate those people, when I'm going to this, no, you can, because they try to project in their own failure on you. Me now, if a kid, I was, you know, I see some, some, some kid at the school in Manchester. And I was like, if you want to become the president of the universe, go for it. You're going to have a lot of enemies and make a lot of sacrifices. There's no president of the universe. I know it doesn't exist. That's what I mean. But that's what I mean. I'm like, even though, like the job doesn't exist, go for it. Go for it. If you dream about it. And that's, that's what's the beauty of me when I was child. Like everyone like, I did a trial at PSG. And I did everything perfect. At the end, he say, you're too small. And you're from the street. And we scare you going to steal things in the dressing room. Yeah. That's why PSG. That's why the coach told me. And they didn't take me just for those two. So I have a lot of like, you won't make it. And more people do that. More I'm like, that's why I say I'm lucky mentally. I can't tell you why I'm that strong. Maybe about from my dad, my mom or all the things that I have to survive. But this was even making me more stronger. Did you have a plan B? No, I didn't have any plan B. This was all or nothing. And that's the scary things when I think about it now, because some of my friends or some people, they were like, Patrice, school is important. You should have your diploma and stuff. I was like, I want to be a footballer player. But I get in shock when I knew actually playing football, you can win money. I wasn't aware about that. Like when I signed my first contract, when I was 17, I didn't care about the money. In that time, it will make you laugh. You know what I was most happy is when I saw my tracksuit on the bed and I wear it and I was looking myself in the mirror and I was on my guard. And I went downstairs to join the team and I see all the players sitting at the table and people coming to serving them the food. It was like, remember, like three folk on one side, three knife on one side. I call my mom. I say, mom, I'm even like, this is paradise. People selling us the food. I've got like three. Now I've got a tracksuit. We all dress the same. And my mom cried at the phone. I remember that day. So, you know, when people ask me, what is your best memory when you play football, that was my best memory. Not winning the Champions League or this is when I was 17. You know, that kid and just, just having food and a normal tracksuit make me so happy. That's my best memory I had since I played football. Because you made it. I made it that day. I was like, I made it, mom. I won't be in the street anymore. I won't have to survive to fight. I won't have to beg money. So, it was just crazy. And even in that time, even some people, they still take advantage because when I signed my first contract, actually, I signed a paper with the mafia, the Italian mafia, and I was the property. And I didn't doubt, I found out this when after I wanted to move for IS-HOMA. And IS-HOMA, we say, we have to call off the deal because you're the property of that man. And it was the guys from the mafia. And actually, on that time, I remember when I first, my first contract, I was earning, it was like 50 pounds now, they are months. And we had like five months where they didn't pay us. I remember my mom and my brother, they come to visit me in Sicily. And a breast chicken, one breast chicken was for three days. We had to cut it in little coop. I remember she was twisting in a little bag. And that's it. That was for the meal for sometimes we had only one meal per day. But I was happy. And I remember my mom come to visit me in Sicily. And she cried. She said, "But what you doing here?" I was like, "Mommy, I just love football." She was like, "But you have nothing. Look where you live." I was, you know, it was like, if you see my first flat, I mean, like, they allowed me to live on that flat. It was disaster. But I was happy because I had football. And every time when I was training or when we played the game, I was scared to the referee, to blow the final whistle. Because I was like, "What I'm going to do now, I'm back to the reality." So for me, play was... It was just a dream. How to imagine, it's how to... How to imagine how difficult life must be for you to not want the whistle to blow on a football game. It's... Was there a moment where that changed and where you no longer started to dread the final whistle blowing? Because your life off the pitch was somewhere to look forward to. It is when I get rid of those people around me and the Masjia. And I signed with a new agent. And I signed for NIST. So I go back to France. A bigger salary. I think I was earning something like 3K, a month. So much better life. Be able to even help my mom. And from that moment, I was like, "Okay, now I'm safe. I'm safe." And after, you know, I signed for Monaco, of course. And I keep my word. I say, you know, when my dad left and in school, they give you like a little money. And my dad was taking this money to send it to Senegal, to my other brother and sister. So I remember my sister went after my mom, like, you know, with true lawyers and everything. She get that money from the school and not my dad anymore. My sister get that money and she go to buy like some makeup and everything. I was like, "Shame on you." All my, like, she's feeding us every single day. Like, and why you don't give that money? And I say, "Me, Mommy, I don't want anything. This is for you." Because you're living in your roof. You're feeding us every day. This is for you. No, but this is for you. Mommy, I don't need this. And I say, "Mom, when I'm gonna have my big contract, the first things I'm gonna do." Because that's what my motivation is to buy a house to my mom. And I did it. And I think that's was one of the most pride moment of my life. Because I say to my mom and I keep my word and I bought her a house in Senegal before I bought, of course, with my money. When I play for Monaco, my Porsche and everything in cars. Because I like cars, not now anymore because I understand all stupidities. But yeah, that's was one of my biggest achievement. You must have been proud, right? My mom, my mom cried every time she saw me. Because sometimes she's like, "You don't understand. You, it's many things you don't know, but race." Like, when you wear like a lawn and no one wanted to help us. And now that's why it's so funny when suddenly you are someone and people, they're like your auntie, come back or your uncle. But they weren't there when we needed them the most. So she always cries, she says, "I'm too nice." But me, I'm like, "I don't have any hate in my heart. It's difficult." And Manchester United. I'm a, yeah, I can't imagine what that would have been like getting a call to that. But you will laugh. Because before United, I will call it overconfident and arrogant. I was playing for Monaco. I reached the final of Champions League, being named four times in the world, the best left back in the French League, playing for the national team. So I remember my Asian care, and he said, "Patrice, you know, in January, it's like teams. You have Inter, Liverpool, Manchester United." I said, "Yeah, cool." I said, and what stuck in my head when he said Manchester United, "Cantona."
Joining Manchester United (51:43)
Really? Yeah. "Cantona." Yeah, the colours, yeah. Wow. I said, "Okay, Manchester, I swear, Cantona, yeah." Because I wasn't following. Really? Yeah, I can tell you something. I don't watch football. You're supposed to say it was a childhood dream. Yeah, it was just like, it's just me, I'm playing football. So watching football is like going to work. That's when I was young. But now as a pundit, I have to watch football game. But it's something I never been interested in, and it's something I never enjoyed. So I didn't know, although sometimes I was watching some results Manchester United, because of Cantona. So I said to me, "Yeah, okay." He said, "You should go to Manchester. I think Manchester should you say, 'Why not?'" Then we met Sir Alex Ferguson, because at that time, I stayed playing for Monaco, so you can't be approached by another team. You broke the rules. So we met in the airport, in the secret room, yeah. Secret room, yeah. Secret room in the airport. And that day, that interview was like being interviewed by the FBI. I was like, "Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you like to party? Are you ready to not lose one game? Are you ready to not even grow a game?" Yes? Sir Alex said, "Yeah, you shake my hands." He said, "Now you shake my hands." So that's, you know, playing for my United. Or everything I say, that's what you will have to do and all the stuff, even if some people they drink and they do many things, but it's about more the winning mentality. And when you shake my hands, it looks straight in my eyes. And when you look straight at his eyes, you make sure you don't disappoint him. So what I love about Ferguson is that day also, he said, "You know, sir, we know your background, you know where you come from, but just be yourself. I won't change you. I just want you to bleed for United, for the fun, for the people from Manchester, you know, work ethic." And it was already in my DNA. So when I joined United, I was like, finally I can be myself. Because even in France playing for Monaco, when sometimes I was saying like, "I want to be the best left back." Or, "I am the best." Or it's too arrogant. It's this. So the French media, they didn't understand me. They were like, you know, it's too arrogant. And I win also the youngest French player in the league and normally only striker, like Henri Isidane. I was the first defender to win those kind of trophies. So I was like, "Overconfident." So when I joined Manchester and Ferguson, telling me all those words, it was a different story. I was like, finally, I can express myself, like Cantonasset, you know, in France, they will build him the guillotine in Manchester, they will build him a statue. And that's the truth, because in Manchester, they let you be yourself, you know, even if you have to kick a fan, they will still be behind, they know it's wrong, but you still feel the support. You still feel you're part of the family. So we're going to accept you, you know, the way you are. And that's what's really important, even if I think everyone knows the story of my first game. I think I saw well. Yeah. Just crazy, because I just came back, I just trained with the team three days. We are the deli against Manchester City playing at 12. I never play at 12 in my life, apart when I was kid, but never play at 12. Come for the breakfast, 9. I see Michael Silvester, Louisa, my French team mate, eating beans, pasta. I'm not a good breakfast guy. So I start doing the same, you know, I'm like, okay, in this league, you know, we need to do it, because it's a strong league. I eat, I feel sick, I went in my room, I vomit, as I need to call the doc, and we need to say to the manager, I can't play that game. But I was like, but at least you just sign. You can't say that again, toxic masculinity. They will say, I'm weak, I'm scared. I play, I say I play. Don't ask me why, you know, it Manchester is never sunny. In 9 years, I just don't like three barbecue in 9 years. That day was so hot, the sun was like, oh, I'm like, I didn't back to Monte Carlo, I was like, what's going on here? I remember the first, the first ball, travel, Sandkler, just head bone me, I was cut straight away. He was like, welcome to England, welcome to the Premier League. And in one point, one point, I was again, the post, I remember, you know, when you have those bubble, the cartoon and you, you know, writing what you think about, I was like, oh my God, what the hell I'm doing here? The football is so fast, so strong, I should have keep chilling in Monte Carlo. Losing to new after time, Ferguson give the air dryer to everyone, and he come to me and say, you, now you sit and you learn the English football. So I didn't understand because, you know, I didn't speak very well English and Carlos Carrios was the one like translating. And I put my, you know, the doctor was like cleaning my blood and, and I put my, and Carlos Carrios, you know, no, no, Patris is, it's over, it's finished. Like, you, so imagine me playing for France, best left back, being served after the first 45 minutes, but he, he get even worse than worst after that. So we lose the game, I back home, and my Italian Asian with his wife, were staying with me in my flat. And my Asian look at me like this. He said, Patris, I'm sorry. Say what? This I should never book you in Manchester. I'm sorry, you should have stayed in Monaco, you know, and his wife on the background looking at me. I promised to say that, that day, I was so low. I was like, even my own Asian, he don't believe in me anymore. I was like, wow. So after that, I know I play a Liverpool game, a good game. We win one zero Rio Férdino score, the winning goal, and everything. And I had a great game. So he back, but at the first six months was really difficult for me and Neymania Vidditch, we came, we arrive at the same time. We even play with the reserve, and we get served. Arts time again. In the reserve. Imagine me and Neymania Vidditch in the shower. I remember I said, Oh, my Asian say, you know, I as Roma, I will maybe go back in Italy. Vidditch was like, okay, I will go to school while so they want me back and stuff. So all of that, my teammate were laughing real when runay, when in the training, I was like sleeping and every day, they were like laughing when someone was, you know, shorter you, they were laughing. And I remember one day, pulled schools, when I make it, when you respect me, say, you know, Patris, I think you were like a joke. I even asked like the boss, if he can sell you back to Monaco, but for free, then you back for free. Yeah. And I look at them, you know, all those things, you know, when I saw my teammate laughing when I was not playing a game, he didn't put me down. I was like, I'm going to show them with the real Patris, because it's difficult when you come to a club like, you know, end of January, because you know, you miss half of the season. So after I missed the World Cup, my fellow French teammate, Louisa and me, they went to the World Cup 2006. I was filming. I back to Monaco. I was in the gym all the summer. I was looking the French national team reaching the final of World Cup, but they lose against Italy. So I was like, okay, I understand the football in England now. It's like you have to be strong first, then after you can play with your feet. So I get some muscle, everything. I came back to the preseason. We had a preseason in South Africa. I was the man, the man of the tournament. And I remember Mick Phil and the second coach, he came and he checked my hand and said, now you are United players. From that day, even before the season started, I know I will make it and the rest is history. You played in a lot of teams. I sat here with the row Ferdinand as well. I asked him a very similar question. What was it that made Manchester United achieve the success they achieved? There's so many things. You know, when you say I can say like the walk-eating, the discipline, the passion, I think it's also the character personality. I think Ferguson, he wanted to meet player in person to see if he can feel the character, the personality. Is they going to be ready to handle the pressure? Pressure playing for Manchester, the pressure is a gift, it's a privilege. Like I want to add pressure. Like, I didn't want Ferguson to say you play a good game. I want Ferguson to give me the air dryer. It was a little bit like, it's really weird. But I didn't expect any compliment. Like, for me, playing for under Manchester United, I wasn't, I never scared of anyone. I never scared of Sir Alex Ferguson. But I was scared to disappointing him. So it's about respect. What makes Manchester United, he was like, I have many coaches, they say winning is important. But Ferguson winning United is normal. Like the goal is to win like four trophy per season. I will tell you a story. When we won the Champions League in 2008, exciting. We went on the plane, putting the music loud, you know, dancing. Ryan Giggs, look at me. Can you put this? I was like, hey, we just win the Champions League and the Premier League. Yeah, but you know, we need to sleep, we need to rest. Okay, that's that's weird. We learned. Ferguson, I remember we were on the bus and he take the mic. It's a congratulations. Well done. I'm proud of you to be in the champion of Europe. But next year, if you don't want to win it again, I will end many contracts of many players of you. If you don't, I don't feel the same passion and the same anger. Now, because he was the Euro 2008, now go and enjoy having and use the F word with your national team. Boom, no parade, no celebration with the fan. I remember I went home and I was in my bag. I dropped it. I was like, this is the feeling of winning the Champions League and the league. I was like, wow. But the problem, you become a robot. So you're not even happy when you win the league the years and years. I was, you know, when we celebrate and the was fake inside, it was just pretending. Of course, it's a release is an achievement. But because you just become a machine, a robot, winning, that's the only things matter. And that's why he goes to play for Man United, but also sacrifice. You know, when I talk about sacrifice, I'm not shame about even after sacrifice your own family. That's what I did. I give you an example. You know, my first son, Lenny, he was three years old and I came back home one day and he was crying. I said, why are you crying? He said, because I hate Man United. I said, why? He said, because they took my dad away. And you know, the United fan, they have a flag where they united kids and wife in that order. I never laugh in that flag. A lot of people laugh. I never. Because that's the that's what it caused me to succeed at United. What's United United? That's why I had a really strong relationship with Anderson because he knew I don't need Manchester United. I love Manchester United. And I would could like die for this club. And I still could die for this club for the fan and for any manager. So to play for Manchester United, it caused you your life, the normal life. You you're part of another family. It's interesting because when you were younger, you had a problem with authority. Exactly. Ferguson is the ultimate authority. I still in different way, I still, you know, Ferguson, sometimes he chatted on me, I was too deaf. Facing like I was like, if you go far, I don't know, I don't guarantee nothing will happen. But it's also what I wanted to make sure. I didn't want to disobey in front of people. This is really important because you always question, you know, the coach, if you answer back, and that's why I also say to kids when the manager talk, you should never answer back in the in front of the people. But you can go after. And that's what I was doing with Ferguson.
Sir Alex Ferguson (01:05:02)
So I tell you one game. We play against Tottenham, winning, tuning off time, playing the best game in my life. I promise you, I was like, wow, on fire came back in the dressing room in some water. People, Oh my God, but you on fire, everything. I said Ferguson said when he sit and he doesn't speak for for three minutes or five, like you mean like someone is in trouble. I look at him. He looked at me. He said, Patris, you okay? And me? Yeah, yeah, I'm okay both. Yeah. Are you tired? Seriously, I look around if he was like a prong, if he was some camera, I was even people were like, but I say, no, he said, why you pass the ball back to Vanda, sir? I say, because I didn't have any solution forward. And that's what's the only pass I pass because I like to play forward. If you do that again, I will you will come and watch the rest of the game next to me. And you use the many effort is that this is the worst game you're playing since you play for Manchester United. That's why I stood up. I was like, what's going on? This is, this is like, this is he was like, you shoot them. If you pass the ball back again, I promise you, you will never play for and justice. But I keep my mouth sharp. I was biting my lips. Even people, they were in shock. They were scared. Like gigs. Everyone was like, what's going on? Came back. We beat Tottenham, phone room, phone, and everything. After the game, everyone, oh my God, don't listen to him. Patrice, you were on fire. Yeah, did my shower quickly. I remember the I couldn't wait to sleep and to come back the next day. Next day I come. I open. What is it? I opened the door. Oh, Patrice, how are you, my son? I said, boss, who I am? What's happened yesterday? Patrice, you were the best player on the pitch. But you know, Christiano was start doing some skill. Some player, they were like missing students, chance to score. You know, when you play for my United, when you score one goal, you have to score second. When you score second, you have to score third goal. You have to respect the people they come to watching. I was like, wait a minute, boss. You were the best player, my son. And I get out of my office. FFC. I was French F.C. Well, and he was like whistling, singing, and laughing. Then I came out of the office. I was like, actually, you know, I could take the fire. He wanted to send a message to the other player. The Christiano and many of the player to keep focused and to respect Tottenham. But he picked the best player on the pitch to send that message automatically or the other player they were like. If he's killing the best player in the pitch, we better. But that's what I'm talking about managing. That's very. You had a bust up with Fergie in 2007 when he didn't play you. He promised he'd play you, then didn't play you. This was an even now, an even I'm going to see him on Saturday. I never ask him the real reason. So it's simple. I've played every Cup game, FFC Cup game. I've been named the best left back in the Premier League. It was like, you know, competition with me and Enza, but I play more game. And anyway, the final, the day before the final, he did the team. Now, he come. We were walking with Carlos Kios. And he was unfortunately an article on the paper and a big title. The son, and he was like, but you several X drug dealer gangster and a first page. Wow. You know what they did? They went to my where I grew up. They questioned many of my friend. And all of my friend, they say, yes, here, you know, we were fighting, you know, doing this. And, you know, and they say, but Patrice is an example for us because he made it. So that paper is that telling, oh, I was a gangster and everything. So it was a front page. And the day before the game, Ferguson, we were walking, going to train any sale. Ah, Patrice, we need to talk. You know, say, what's the matter was? He said, you know, the, the glazer, the owner, they called me and, you know, for the club, for the image of the club, you know, an ex-congster and stuff is, you know, it's no good. I think I won't play you tomorrow. I was like, but bossy, no, I'm joking. And he was like, I took care of his. Oh, I got him. You know, he was scared. No, no, don't worry. We train the first 11 on the team. Everything perfect. The day of the game in the morning, I like to put music. I remember in the fashion allowed you also to order your breakfast in your room. You don't need to go downstairs and dancing. Okay. I think it's the room service. Open the door. So I like, sir, you said, son, I'm going to put you in the bench and it's going to start. But you know what? I know you're going to win the game for us. You know, it's really warm. When play, you're going to come in, I need some speed. Sometimes you're going to win the game. I know you disappoint. I say, I am very disappointed. He said, I know I know some, but trust me, I'm happy left. So I remember after 10 minutes, he asked me to warm up. We weren't playing well. I warm up for 80 minutes. It was even like the smoking, like I was like, first of all, I was really angry and I was like, running like crazy mad because I needed like, you know, the oldest frustration I had to come out. We lost one nil against Chelsea. I remember we went to take the medal. I take it. I throw it under grass. Thank you, son. Check, try to check my end. I didn't shake his end. So first, first time in my life, I just respect him. My agent was there. Why you don't play? I said, go to ask your manager. People for Manchester. Are you injury? But you know, go to ask your manager. I say to my agent, I need to go. I don't want to play for my United anymore. Finally, I clubbed. No, Patris. I need to go. I don't want to play for my United anymore. It was the party. Everyone was like with the family and stuff. I wasn't smiling. And three days later, thank you, son. Call me and say, Patris, I'm sorry. I should have played. I hope, you know, too upset. And because he told me that I automatically forgive him, but I still don't know the reason, especially what's happening in the paper and the joke. And I never ask him the reason. But yeah, I was that's that's it. That's what I was. I don't want to play for United anymore. You can ask him. No, because I'm someone, you know, I know he's a lot of my interview and my stuff and even watch my video. So maybe he's going to tell me one day, but I don't ask. I don't ask people. I just like to people they are free. If they want to say something about something, you just tell me I don't like to ask people. Does it bother you? When I talk about it, just think like, yeah, but not really because then the rest of my career for United and the love I've got for this man, you know, it's story. So no, but it's just like again, my past maybe my past cost me, you know, my starting eleven, but forgiveness, the topic of forgiveness. Suarez Suarez in an altercation on the pitch, he called you the Grita. I was watching that game, which is a offensive word for a black person. That incident was a bit of a media circus, wasn't it? Yeah, but I will never expect that because, so like you say, and he called me an unfortunate before him. I speak Spanish and I say, what did you say? And he said again, the N word and is anyone don't speak with any N word.
You and Luis Suarez (01:13:51)
So I remember in that time, I was like, this is when I was like also proud of myself because I was talking to myself, should I punch him? But Patrice, this is a Liverpool Manchester. All the kids are watching this game. People won't understand. So I promised you this. I had an amazing first half, the second half, I was just like, it was a process talking to myself, don't do it. You know, when you have like a devil in an angel, don't do it, don't do it, don't do it, do it. All the game, I wasn't in the game. And I play okay, it was fine, we draw. And after the game, I just sat and Ferguson told me and he was like, Patrice, what's the matter? You know, you had a good game. What's the matter? I said, David De Gea say, so I scold him an agree to. I was like, Patrice, let's go. He take me, we went to the referee, we tell him, he take note. But by the way, even in the on the pitch, I said to the referee, did you hear what he just say? He called me with the N word. Come on, Patrice, he called me with the N word, play, play, play, we're going to deal with that letter. Because I forget to always mention that in his long time and every interior never say that. And that's referred, we're going to deal with that letter. Really? He called you that? Yes, he did. Okay. So we went to the official, we tell him, say, yeah, Patrice told me about that. So he was aware. So Ferguson like killing. So you were aware and why you didn't send him off? And yeah, okay, we're going to deal with that. And you know, do the English for duration. So the next day, boom, front page. So I was, you know, I'd be racially abused, but you're several. I didn't expect that. So I don't know, or possible, I start to become a liar. I start to become people in jail in Liverpool, send many later off. They're going to kill me when they're going to come out of jail. People start following me with my car. I had for three months, 24 hours, like security, but can I be honest with you? My brother, my family, they were like, scared, but I was like, guys, we don't need that because I'm from the street. So come on, we don't need protection. But the threat were real. That's why my United is a Patrice, even if you don't need that, we need so for three months, like 24 hours and everything. So unbelievable. But the worst part is when we watch a game with all the player and Ferguson. And we saw the Liverpool player came out with that shirt and support, and the worst part, he was like, he get banned. So it's not like they do it when before he get the ban, he get banned because after he lies, you know, in my country, we use the word like, I know they use narrow, but no nogritos. Nogritos is the end word. Nero is the caller. And even I always say to people, you don't have to call me by my caller. My mom gave me a name. I don't need to be anyway. So with the camera, they could see with his lips, like he said, the end word. And they support him and he was Kevin Douglas. I remember I hate so much Kevin Douglas to let this happen that day. And the karma, he gets stuck after one month after that game. So I did a TV show with Jamie Kaggar and I promise you, I Jamie, like, you know, we start talking and he said, Patris, I just would like to apologize about what's happening nine years ago. What we have done is wrong. I was in shock. So I didn't expect that was like, wow, okay. He said, we didn't know, you know, the club tell us to do that. And after that, I received like later from the owner of Liverpool emails saying like, we saw you more than welcome here and everything. You can feel home. I will never feel home when I got to live up. You know, I think for that. But it was so nice. And I know many of my friends, they were like, Patris, you should, you should forgive them. I say, guys, it's never, it's never too late. And I don't have any hate. And I keep saying, I can't call Luis Juarez a racist because I don't know him close enough to call him that way. But in that day, he used some racist word and he get even worse for him when about the handshake. That's when I was like, okay, it's a disgrace. Because even when I called my mom and my mom said, the way in the case, Patris, you should forgive. And I remember that game was one of the most like topic was the handshake. It wasn't even a beautiful bunch. That's when I see like he was bigger than that. That things was bigger than the game. And when I put any data and I was like, you put your hand out, he didn't check it. And I was like, I'm going to kill him. I remember that game. I even take a real fair, you know, you can see because I wanted to cut Suarez, but he jumped. So I take like real fair, you know, and he's that picture when real fair, you know, you look like he's broken his neck because I wasn't wanted to play it again. I just wanted to kill him. And I have one story also. After all those episodes, one day I was walking in the Manchester in Dinsgate and my brother said, Oh, he's loose. So I was over there. I was in two of my brother. I look at him. I was like, that's it. This is the moment. And he walked and behind him, I saw his kid and his wife. And we and I turned my back. I was like, if you do something to him, you can't do this in front of his family. So I don't regret it because I think he will end up bad. And I didn't do nothing that day. I saw him when we play against Barcelona, which eventually in the final, I was talking with Nama, I pass, he called me, shake my hands. So you're okay. I said, I'm okay. You're okay. So no beef, but we definitely not going to go in all day in our life. But yeah, have you forgiven him? Yeah, but because like I say, that's when now we, I want to talk a little bit about the racism. And like I said, two people is about education. No one born as a racist person. And you know, when you when the football now they ban people when they have those racist comment or I don't think this is the solution. Because if you ban someone, you put him, I know he's really sensitive, but you put him in a box. You don't resolve the matter. And even that person will even become more racist and feeling more rejected. But where I come from, I've got friend, they're not shame to tell me, but at least I've got black friend and everything. But my daughter or my son will never be with a black person because my dad or my granddad will never accept it. So that's why I understand, you know, racism, you need to fight with your own parents. It's nothing to do is about religion. When he was the Paris attack, everyone started blaming the Muslim people. He slumber. I did a post. I was on the plane. I say, you know what? And by the way, I grew up as a Catholic, but if you ask me, what is your best religion right now is to be the best human being I can. I'm not a Catholic. I'm not a Muslim, but I can pray with Jewish people, with Muslim people, Buddha, everything, because I respect every religion. But now the religion, my religion is to be the best human being I can. Then I did that post when I say, I think it's not time to to spread your anger, your, you know, is when you should pray for the people we lost. And by the way, I read the Quran, Islam is such a beautiful religion. It's about love and everything. So I really do and it came from my heart. And I feel like I had to do it. My dad called me. What you doing, you know, you don't know them. They are terrible. It's an everything. I said that this is your opinion, but it's not mine. He put the fund out. We didn't speak for two weeks. He called me after two weeks. He said, I'm sorry. He said, wow, you're a man now. He stood to your own opinion. I said, yes, that then I won't change it like you can't because one person does something then all the people are the same. So that's why I like to give this example, because sometimes you have to stand up against your own father, even if you scale them, because those people, the racism doesn't come like because they just become racist, it's because they've been taught. So if we want to change something, it's about the education. And I have enough people pretending they want to fight against the racism. And I will talk about massive football industry. I gave the example of that stupid super leak. I super leak, yeah. A project, that project didn't even start. We shut down that project in 24 hours. I remember I watched on TV. My ex team made the point that he shouldn't define fighting burning things like, wow, I was watching I was like, oh my God, they are so unique, they terminate the president of the FIFA Tokyo, the Wi-Fi. Oh, they asked me, those owners and stuff like, wow, we should. But I was like, but why we don't have the same determination when we talk about racism and especially in football, players getting abused every single game. But we don't stop. So don't pretend you want to do it when you don't. But the real reason, and maybe I'm straight and maybe I'm irritates certain person that super leak you were touching their pocket. Racist? It's not about money, everyone like, don't care. Play on. You know, like even social media. I'm someone I am on social media. I don't want any help from Instagram, from Facebook, forever, because you can delay your comment. You can like block people, everything. And anyway, when I have racist comment, I will do a nice video when I'm eating a banana and things because it really like when I was 70 years old, people were throwing real banana in my face when I was playing. So it's not like someone behind his computer can affect me, but this is Patris or the people they're going to read comment about them. They're going to even suicide, you know, when we talking about the mental health. So you have to explain me one thing. When it's about the COVID-19, you get a flag straight away. But when it's about the races, like sometimes you feel like those social media, they just let the race is pre the races on their platform. So stop pretending. If you want to do something, let's do it. But I know until you know money is not involved, things will difficult to be changed. Yeah, kick the races. They asked me to put the shirts. Many times I go to the woman, I didn't put that shirt because I don't. In fact, they asked me to say no to the races in front of the camera. Many players respect no to the race. But the player, they don't even care because they tell them to say that, come, teach to people, races, saying those words. I say silence is a crime because people lose their life because of that. You said your religion was to live a good life. No, to be the best human being. To be your best human being you can. How do you define that now? What does that mean? It means to be kind to people, to be kind to the universe, to make the world a better place, to help people. Like, I'll be honest with you now. And I say that not to make myself looking good. When I do a video and I see a comment, someone say, or Patrice, my dad passed away. I watch one of your video and I smile. Thank you. This is more important for me than win the Champions League or the Premier League.
Being the best person you can be (01:26:19)
Because this touched my heart. You know, like I said, I play football, yeah. But my big, also one of my biggest achievement and I don't want to talk about it to spread it. But it's when I open my two shelter in Senegal, more than 400 kids. And I remember the day when I went there and they were singing for me because I give them food and, you know, school and everything. That's when I'm like, oh, now I know why I'm on earth, not just a kick a ball around. That's it. That's why I say people, they I'm like a nice bird, you know, I like to use that that example because I think people didn't see the real Patrice. And, you know, many manager, they named me captain of the, you know, I remember the first time like Ferguson said, you're going to be the captain and real was still playing gigs and win-win and a lot of people. I was like the French guys from the street is the captain of the biggest club, you know, in the world. But because they know that culture of sharing leadership, not being selfish, all of that, this is me. And one thing that changed because of my woman is I'm taking care of myself now. I also want to be happy because before, if the world is happy, if you are happy, this makes me happy. But now Patrice also, sometimes he takes time like I had like, can you believe in the last two years I have just won holiday? To tell you like even now, I'm retired, but I'm more busy than when I used to play. But for the first time, I turned my phone off for a week. And we was just amazing. Because I don't allow to do that because I've got things to do. I've got people to take care of us for the first time I take care of myself. It was just magic. Like my woman just wanted to lock me down in that island and didn't want me to come in back and I won't be able to do actually this podcast today. So we did it. I come back to reality. But yeah, this is tell you like I just, it's not just want to be good. I just want to be myself. And you know, I never, I had one, one problem is like, I still like to fight. So this is like from where I grew up. So sometimes my woman teach me like, don't use your fist. You know, again, on my book, when I kicked that fan and people compare me to Eric Canton, but it wasn't my, you know, my goal in Marseille. But it's because this guy is like, stop, you know, like talking like a monkey and anyway, when we go back, we're gonna cut the trophy of your kids. And I am a human being. And that's why people forget sometimes football or play. They think we are like robot, but no, we are, we got feeling when he did that, he came down. So I, I kick him, I get eight months ban, I think 80 K of fine. I don't remember. So I'm not perfect. And I don't want to be perfect. I want to be me. Some people, I am an example for them. But I don't want, it's not like I want to be an example for any, I just want to be me if I inspire people, then perfect. You are an iceberg. You're definitely an iceberg, that's for sure. And this book definitely reveals that the rest of the iceberg that doesn't sit above the water. And as someone, as I said, that's what's drawn screen for many, many decades and has seen you more recently on online and as a pundit on TV, I would never have guessed their sort of complexity and backstory that, that you have. And you're sort of, you know, it's an interesting word to use, but your, your vulnerability, let's say in sharing all of that, I think will do more good than you'll ever realize, because it, it opens the door for other people to share. And as we said, it creates a safe space for men, young men, men that come from where you come from, men like me, to also share. And in sharing, we liberate ourselves. That tends to be what happens. And then we, we are, we have permission to live a more free life because, because of that. So I want to thank you for that. I think that's one of the most amazing things you can do. And you've done that with this book. And on behalf of everybody that has the chance of reading it, and I hope everybody does go and read it. Thank you. Oh, thanks to you to having me and to also some emotion, you know, you bring out some emotion. I didn't know one and I did many interviews when I'm doing my book too. And question like you asked me today and it's really a trust you the way I've been honest. And no, thank you because I'm already feeling better. And that's why I hope like every people and every kids, they have the chance to read my book. And, you know, if they are like those issues to come out, it's not easy, you know, it's easy for me to tell them, please come out. But trust someone, trust someone and trust me, you is a massive like things I've got in my chest for so many years. And for me, like I say to my mom traveling and she was just divested and sometimes she still sent me some voice note, she's crying because she could still don't understand. So don't keep it. Don't keep it. Tell it to your parents. Tell it to your brother or your sister. I've got 24 brothers and sister. And I didn't even tell that to any one of them. So be yourself. Enjoy your life. Leave the present and be good to the universe. That's a beautiful and I have just one more question for you. And this is a question. This is a new tradition we've started Patrice where the previous guest on this podcast leaves a question for the next guest. So the previous guest left a question for you and you're going to leave a question for the next guest as well. And I'm going to find out what that question is because I've not actually read it yet. Okay, here we go. Name three people, dead or alive, that you would have dinner with tonight if you could. My mom, my woman. And you.
The last guests question (01:32:33)
Oh, that's a tremendous one. Why me? Because the way you many things came out and you're an interesting person and I feel energy and I feel your soul and you're a good soul and I can see you're doing all of this because you want to make the world a better place and you know when you surrender to people like you, you just improve. And that's what I want to, you know, sometimes I'm like, don't surrender to the negative people. Help them also to understand why they are negative. But your energy, you're really curious. I can feel it. You're going deep. You want to understand the reason why because it's easy to do the book I have to do. But I wanted someone who was able to ask me the reason why. And that's what I can have a conversation and we can have a dinner and we're going to talk about a lot of things and I really about the toxic, you know, masculinity. So that's why I pick you. Okay, we're going to organize that dinner. So, you know, we'll figure it out for sure because I feel the same way. As I'm still kind of early on that journey of understanding my ego and toxic masculinity and how it stands in my way, the more men that I can speak to like yourself that have been on that journey and started to learn lessons the better it will be for myself selfishly. But hopefully that's, you know, and I think, the good, I think we've just done talking about that today. And it's funny because I know some of the people that listen to this and where they listen to it because they tag me. And they are men that are driving eight hours on a Monday morning up and down the country in big vans. They are builders on building sites that want to be entrepreneurs and just again, as we've done on this podcast, creating that safe space where we can talk about feelings and crying and your emotions and communicate communicating what's going on in your life. Oh, it's the most important service I think we can do to men. So I hope we can carry on that conversation. And I'm going to be pestering your peer to organize this dinner. I'm going to pass you the book to write a question for my next guest. But thank you so much. It's been an absolute honor. Honestly, it's been an absolute honor and you're you're even more of a role model to me than you have been for the last 20 years. And that's been that's high to be. Thank you. Thank you.