Locker room hazings, initiations and pranks are commonplace within professional sports teams. Players are looking for ways to entertain themselves and often try to get one over on each another in order to do so.
And it seems Manchester United’s players are no exception.
Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué spent four years at Old Trafford from 2004 to 2008. The World Cup winner recently gave an interview to Catalan television station TV3 detailing the extent of a prank once played on Patrice Evra in which the Frenchman’s footwear was destroyed.
“Evra one day came into the changing rooms wearing some Nike trainers that he'd ordered four months before, with the name of his kids embroidered on them," Piqué said. "Very shiny.
“When he went for a shower, they took them and burnt them.
“What’s more, they recorded it and they sent him the video. This was the level [of practical jokes] at United."
The Spaniard admits that the joke was harsh on Evra, but that that kind of thing was the norm at the time.
“I recognise that they were pretty strong but in an English changing room it was something normal.”
Evra played for United between 2006 and 2014, winning five Premier League titles and one Champions League before joining Juventus in Serie A.
The tenacious left-back became a fan favourite at Old Trafford and is still remembered fondly for his passion and commitment.