At amateur level, Manchester United’s new £36 million man Anthony Martial, played for the same club as legendary Red Devil left back, Patrice Evra. Both started their football at French side Les Ulis.
Not only did the two Frenchman play for the same side but, when Patrice Evra made his move to Old Trafford, also from A.S. Monaco, Martial ended up with his boots.
Les Ulis coach, Mohamadou Niakité, explained how the coincidence occurred to French radio station RMC:
“Tshimen [Buhanga, manager at Les Ulis], once went to Manchester United and got hold of Patrice Evra’s boots, which he then gave to Anthony,”
“Maybe they’re a source of motivation. We hope that [Martial] will, one day, give his shoes to one of the kids at Les Ulis”.
Martial began his football at Les Ulis in 2001, which also nurtured another Premier League and France legend, Thierry Henry.
Très content d’avoir pu échanger quelques mots avec le grand @ThierryHenry #LesUlis pic.twitter.com/jg6KH80xpK
— Anthony Martial (@AnthonyMartial) February 26, 2015
The Arsenal superstar returned to Les Ulis after France’s 1998 World Cup win, to thank his former club, which shows how highly he ranks them.
By FIFA ruling, clubs who train up youngsters are compensated with a percentage of the player’s eventual sale price. As Anthony Martial spent 3 years being trained up by Les Ulis, they will receive 0.75% of his transfer fee.
This means that Les Ulis will be roughly £270,000 (€367,000) better off, which is a huge boost to the seventh tier amateur side.
Hopefully Martial will follow in the footsteps of Henry and Evra and become a Premier League great.