"The group gave me the opportunity to express myself," says Paul Pogba


                                        
    

        
        
                Pogba and DD – FRANCK FIFE / AFP
            After "touching the stars" this summer at the World Cup, "it's hard to start again and hit hard," said the midfielder.
the French team Paul Pogba, Tuesday in Clairefontaine during an interview with AFP, where journalists were instructed not to ask him about his news in Manchester.

Is a post-World Cup year harder to manage, like this October rally?

It's hard to leave, to concentrate, to go back and hit hard. We hit the stars, the best of what you can win. Now we are challengers, we have other goals. For example, I never won the Premier League. It's a goal, there are always challenges that can make you work, it's a good thing.

Do you have a role to play to integrate a new kid like Tanguy Ndombélé?

Of course we are there, the oldest, to make it more comfortable. When you're new, you're pretty shy, you do not know how it's going, you're small we're going to say. If he's here, it's not for nothing, it's because he deserves it too, so he should not be uncomfortable or anything.

Paul Pogba presents the World Cup to the public of the Stade de France. – FRANCK FIFE / AFPIn the evening of the final of the World Cup, Adil Rami presented you as a new "leader", the one who "showed the way". How did you welcome this compliment?

It made me really happy to hear that from Adil. I will never say it's me, it's the group that put me in this position too, that gave me the freedom to express myself, gave me confidence too. If it had not been with them, I would never have done it. It's just come naturally since the beginning of the internship. We started like that, I talked with the executives, Hugo (Lloris), Blaise (Matuidi), (Raphael) Varane, to say that this World Cup really had to put all the ingredients to win it. I was really determined. With the age I have, 25 years old, I'm in between, the oldest and the youngest. It can make it possible to pass messages and to have the chance to be listened to. It was this group that put me at ease.

It's not really a click?

The players, it's a family, I felt really good. I could say what I felt, give small messages, transmit messages from the oldest to the youngest. I was the runner we will say.

Would you one day become captain of this team of France?

No, I've never played in France team to be captain, to be here is already something big for me. To speak you do not have to be a captain, a leader is not someone who has something on his arm, the armband. A leader, you can talk in the field but I have seen leaders who do not necessarily speak. For example, Pirlo (former glory of AC Milan and Juventus Turin) is a leader but he will not speak in the locker room more than that. He will be there on the ground and show you the way. He is a true leader. The armband has never been a goal.

Didier Deschamps explained that he asked you to standardize your relations with the press. Did it help you?

He gave me good advice not to block this relationship that you have with journalists, the world, the fans. Because otherwise you can have this image: "Ah he does not want to talk, because he's angry". But not at all. The coach spoke to me, he helped me for that. And now I think I'm a little more open (smile), I express myself a little more. As I was not seen talking, we stayed on an image of me that was not necessarily mine. I've never been pissed at journalists, it's just that I did not want to talk. I said to myself "there is no point in speaking".

Should the Ballon d'Or return to a Blue this year?

That's all I hope for anyway, because there are many who deserve it. I do not put myself in it. Whether it is + Grizou + (Antoine Griezmann), Kylian (Mbappé) or Raph (Raphaël Varane) who deserve it much more than me. I can not name one. But I hope with all my heart that it will be one of the three. One of the four also because there is + NG + (N'Golo Kanté) ".

    

    
            

    
                            

                

    
    

    

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *