UAE, ABU DHABI - Sports
Coach and Former Football Professional Player,
Former Manchester United and France National team Captain, Patrice is now a successful entrepreneur with his ‘I Love The Game’ brand, a motivational speaker and a massively influential social media personality. As a much revered and loved captain of Manchester United and the French National team, Patrice Evra is the consummate modern sportsman. He is a successful entrepreneur with his ‘I Love The Game’ brand, a glowing example of health and fitness, a motivational speaker and a massively influential social media personality. Nowadays, among a myriad of endeavours, he aims to help mentor and inspire people around the world to maximise their potential. Naturally, he draws on the challenges he faced: from poverty, to racism to sexual abuse at the age of 13. Born in Dakar, Senegal, Evra came to France at the age of one. The son of a diplomat, Patrice‘s family fell upon hard times when his father left home, leaving him and his 23 brothers and sisters to largely fend for themselves in the tough district of Les Ulis. It was an area plagued by crime, lack of investment, and growing up there was extremely challenging, but along with other players like Thierry Henry from the same area, he triumphed in the face of adversity.
The aim was really is to bring Africa to the World Cup, and to add to the celebrations and fun of the tournament. I am keen to show the real face of Africa, which is one of the richest continents, and change public perceptions of it. I wanted to showcase the sheer potential of its youth, and their achievement often despite huge challenges. I am from the streets myself, and a self-made man. I never work with anybody that who doesn’t share the same values.
First of all, I love this game. It is not about sports; it is about life. I love this life. When I say I love this game it’s because I think life is a game, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The advice I want to give to those kids is to make sure that whatever they want to do they can do it. I tell the story that when I was at school and there was a French teacher the first day that asked, “what do you want to become?” I said, I want to become a footballer and she said, being a football player is not a job. Today, I want to make sure no one is saying the same thing to other kids. I also advise those kids not to pretend to be somebody they aren’t, just be yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. You going to make mistakes in your life, but don’t be afraid to make those mistakes and take risks. I am crazy and passionate about life.
The UAE is 10 years ahead of the game. What I love about Abu Dhabi is that they listen to you. And there is a massive difference between someone just hearing you and actually listening to you, which makes you feel make you more than welcome. Abu Dhabi is the capital of business, with its regulation. What I like that Emiratis really view a partnership as a relationship, so it is a win-win. Abu Dhabi is a safe place to be, especially for women. A great deal of progress is being made toward gender equality in business. And men and women are increasingly working together rather than in competition. For me, it made total sense to open my media company, Curve, here. And to help the brand connect with the audience, I built on my social media profile. People know me as a football player, but they don’t know me personally. So, through my social media now people understand my other side. So that’s why I want to help people create their brand and spread that awareness. So that is why I am in Abu Dhabi. When you have a good idea, they listen closely. It is not like they are going to give you the golden ticket straight away, but if you share common values you can explore the future together.
UAE, ABU DHABI - Telecoms & IT
Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI)
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