I've always been excited by the Premier League
The first Premier League game I watched was at Arsenal. Thierry Henry invited me to Highbury. It was funny because it was the first time I saw cops on horses at a game.
The atmosphere was electric. I said: "I need to play in this league."
I remember watching the Premier League as a kid because of Eric Cantona playing for United, but I didn't know exactly what it was.
I always say it's just entertainment and I never compare leagues, and people always ask me which is the most difficult.
You can't compare them. What I will say is the Premier League is like two boxers, the first knockout you win the game.
When you play in Italy, it's a chess game, you play with your brain and it's all about positioning. Italian teams study everything.
I remember Allegri (Massimiliano), we had a meeting after we had won 3-0. We had conceded six corner kicks and he was fuming, just because we conceded six corners.
In France, it's more athletic and it's more about cardio and endurance. Every league is different.
But what a beautiful league the Premier League is, even this year it's so exciting. Every week we talk before a game we don't know what is going to happen, but we are excited.
I think we've had a beautiful start to the Premier League this year.
I had a rocky start at United
When I was playing for Monaco, my agent told that Liverpool, Inter and Manchester United were interested in signing me. I told him that I would pick United, and when he asked me why I said: "Because of Cantona, he's a role model."
Back then, I didn't really know what the Premier League was about. At Monaco, I was playing in front of 8,000 people and sometimes I could even hear a fan's cell phone in the stands.
When I arrived to Old Trafford, I remember it was a cup game that I wasn't registered in time to play. We were playing a side from the fifth division and I remember I asked Louis Saha if people would show up, because in France when you don't play against a big team people don't show up. There were 75,000 people at that cup match and I said: "OK, this is a new world."
My first game was a disaster, I remember we played against City.
I'm not a breakfast fan, and at nine in the morning I saw my team-mates, Louis Saha and Mikael Silvestre eating pasta and beans. For me, it was the first time I was playing a game at 12 so I started eating breakfast too and I was feeling really full.
I went to my room and I puked. I was sweating, feeling sick and I just had three training sessions with my teammates.
Imagine me coming from Monte Carlo, where it was nice and sunny, then arriving in Manchester in January. It was a massive change.
The football is so fast in England, so strong. I had been chilling in Monte Carlo, where I was named the best left-back four seasons in a row, thinking I'd made it and that I was a big player.
After the first five minutes of my United debut, I was elbowed and got cut. We were 2-0 down before half-time. I remember I was against the post, asking myself: "What the hell am I doing here?"
At half-time, that was the first time I was introduced to the hairdryer by Sir Alex Ferguson.
He destroyed everyone, and he came to me and said: "You now are going to sit next to me and learn English football."
So imagine, I played for the French national team, I'd been in the final of the Champions League, and in my first game for United I was subbed after 45 minutes.
It got worse, I went home and my agent looked at me, put his hand on me and said: "Patrice, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought you to Manchester United, you should have stayed at Monaco. It's going to be really though for you."
Imagine your own agent doesn't believe in you anymore, imagine the pain.
I remember this was a big wake up call for me, and I always say that this was one of my favourite moments.
I thought I was a big player and my feet were brought right back down to earth.
I had to work hard to get used to English football, but in the summer I went to South Africa for the United pre-season and won the man of the tournament. I remember Mike Phelan shaking my hand and saying to me: "Now you're a Man United player."
The rest is history.
Overcoming early struggles at United
I loved to be challenged, I feel that's when you see the best version of me.
To be honest, people like Paul Scholes helped. They said: "Patrice we thought you were joking, and we think we should send you back to Monaco for free."
Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand were laughing at me in training when people were pushing me down. I needed to adapt my football.
I was a skilful player but I didn't know that first you need to be strong. I never went to the gym when I played in France.
What got me through? I don't know. I always say it's my Mum's personality. When people ask who is my hero, I say my Mum, she lost her leg but after that she kept smiling, dancing and having that positive energy.
When people have doubts about me, it's not like I need them to surprise myself, but that's when I'm like: 'OK guys, now it's showtime.'
This is just part of my personality. That's why I tell every player, when they are struggling after coming to a different country, not to panic.
You have to understand why you are struggling, and I was really honest with myself.
First of all I struggled because I expected the Premier League to be easy. I was thinking I was an amazing player because I reached the final of the Champions League and I played for the French national team.
So then I was like: 'Patrice you are nothing, start from zero.'
When I signed for United, I felt like I was doing a new job. I wasn't a football player before.
Winning Champions League was an important achievement
My highlight was being subbed against City in my first game because it changed everything. It made me understand that I had to work really, really hard to prove to myself that I deserved to wear that United shirt, then to prove to my teammates, the manager and of course the fans.
That moment is the highlight for me. Of course, people expect me to say winning the Champions League.
When I signed for United, I said I didn't sign to play in the Champions League because I had already reached the final. I went to United to win the Champions League.
I lost four finals, and even if it was against a team like Barcelona it still hurt, but at least I won it once and it was a great achievement.
I think if you ask players if they prefer to win the World Cup or the Champions League, most of them will pick the Champions League.
It was a really important moment for my career, I have a special relationship with the competition.
I remember when I signed for Juventus, I had a meeting with the president and the football directors and they said: "Ok, the goal this year is to just get out of the group stage and win the league." I laughed at them.
I said: "Get out of the group stage? With the squad we have got I think the goal is at least to reach the semi-final."
They laughed at me but the first year we reached the final. Unfortunately we lost against Barcelona.
10 years is too long for United to wait for another title win
It's a long time since United have won the league. I don't want to upset Liverpool fans but they waited 30 years. History never dies and I don't want to wait the same time for United to win their next league title.
Ten years is too long for a club like United, you don't have that time and the fans don't have that patience, especially when you have won 20 league titles.
When I signed for United, I think Liverpool were on 18 and we were only on 15. They kept laughing at United, then suddenly boom we went to 20.
Now they're on 19 and I don't want Liverpool to equal that record, that's why I'm begging the United players to win the league as soon as they can.
We now have City chasing United's record. They have already won the Premier League six times, so we need to make sure we change that.
I'm not a fool, we need to trust the process and it will take time.
Look at Liverpool and where they are, I think it's a good example.
For 30 years, we didn't talk about them winning the league, and look what Klopp (Jurgen) has done and the management of Liverpool is just amazing.
They've brought in the right manager, the right people around the club, and they have been doing great.
Sir Alex Ferguson had plan before stepping down as manager
I never thought we'd have to wait this long to lift the Premier League trophy again.
It was really sad to hear that Sir Alex Ferguson was leaving in 2013. Two weeks before the end of the season, I remember Ferguson came to me and said:
"Patrice, I see in the press they're saying I'm going to leave, but trust me I'm going to be here another 10 years."
He told me we need to win the Champions League again, and he needed two players. One was Cristiano Ronaldo and the other was Gareth Bale.
It would have cost something like £200m to get both of those players at the time, and the United board didn't agree with that.
Now you can see we've spent even more money than that and look where we are.
That's why it was really painful, that last league trophy. Of course, I didn't expect to wait for so long.
After David Moyes came, it didn't work out, so we changed managers. We need consistency, we need to trust and I don't want to become a club where every year or two years we change the manager because we won't achieve anything doing this.
Nobody expected that, none of the players. I didn't expect to leave the club either. So there were many decisions that were massive surprises for us after winning that last league title.
Players have to perform consistently at United
If you're not consistent what are you going to achieve? People named me the best left-back in the world because I was consistent.
People have to be careful when they say this player is the new Thierry Henry, he's the new Wayne Rooney, Patrice Evra or whoever, because you need to be consistent. You need to prove yourself every year.
When you play at a club like United, every year people expect you to win, to be at your best.
No disrespect to any other team but, for example, if I were playing for Brighton, every game I'd play people would say I was amazing, unbelievable.
But as soon as you go to United, when you play great people will say that level is normal. When you don't play great, they'll say you had a bad game. When you play badldy, you're one of the worst players fans have ever seen playing for United.
So you need to deal with that pressure every game and every training session.