Belfast Telegraph

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I was so emotional I cried after our win: Jonny Evans

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland hero Jonny Evans has admitted he was overcome with emotion after lining up alongside younger brother Corry to help his country to a first-ever victory in the European Championship finals.

The West Brom defender, playing at left-back, was outstanding during Thursday's famous 2-0 win over Ukraine when he and Corry became the first brothers to play together for Northern Ireland at a major tournament.

The former Manchester United star revealed that he cried at the end of the match as the historic nature of the occasion took over this normally composed character.

"It's an emotional time. With international football you are representing a whole nation and you have all your family and friends here too," explained Evans.

"The build-up to this has been out of this world - and to be able to repay everyone who has been involved with a victory - and the fact that I've been able to do that with my brother - just makes it incredible.

"I got a bit emotional as well. I hugged him after the game - and I went!"

Asked if he cried, Evans replied: 'Yeah' adding that his little brother said 'what you crying for?'

Evans continued: "I don't think anything can top that. I haven't felt that emotional on a football pitch. It was hard to talk afterwards."

The 28-year-old enjoyed many big nights with United when he was at Old Trafford, but insisted Northern Ireland's triumph over Ukraine was different.

"It's different because when you are playing with Man United a lot of the time you are favourites, you are expected to win," he said.

"So it may be a different type of emotion, there's a lot of relief. When I won my first league title at the start it's relief and then you enjoy it afterwards.

"Even at Man United there were times where you don't get to enjoy those big moments until after you've left the club and look back - because at the time you have to move on, there's always the next big game or thinking that next season we need to win again.

"With Northern Ireland, being underdogs, and going through what we've been through in the past in terms of not winning just makes it all that bit sweeter."

Evans feels that with the same 'heart and determination' on show against Ukraine, Northern Ireland can give World Champions Germany a real test on Tuesday in Paris.

His younger sibling has similar thoughts.

"We've faced big nations before. We will get our recovery right and then we will look forward to facing Germany on Tuesday, but the performance and win over Ukraine will give us confidence," said Corry.

The Blackburn Rovers midfielder was perhaps a surprise choice to start in midfield but he grabbed the opportunity with both hands with an industrious display. He said: "I was disappointed not to play in the first game against Poland but I knew if I got my chance I would give everything I've got.

"I managed to do that and it was a great team performance by everyone.

"To be a part of this squad and play for your country is something else.

"I can't take in the magnitude of this victory. I had a quick look at my phone before leaving the changing room and there were loads of messages and texts. We are all immensely proud."

Belfast Telegraph