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Saturday, August 20, 2016

If Mourinho Had Come Two Years After I’d Left United In 2012, Maybe I Wouldn’t Have Signed' - Pogba

Paul Pogba has admitted the presence of Jose
Mourinho at Manchester United is one of the
primary reasons why he made a return to Old
Trafford this summer.
In an interview with Sky Sports pundit Thierry
Henry, the midfielder who became the most
expensive player in football history when he
sealed his £89m move from Juventus earlier this
month, opened up on the reasons why he
decided the time was right to return to United.
Pogba is set to make his second United debut in
Friday night’s Premier League game against
Southampton at Old Trafford and he admitted
the appointment of Mourinho as the club’s
manager this summer is one of the primary
reasons why he is back in Manchester.
“He helped with things,” Pogba told Henry in
an interview that will be broadcast prior to the
Southampton game. “You see a big coach like
him, who has done a lot and has won
everything, and when he comes here, takes the
players and wants to go back to winning.

“I played four years in Italy, if he’d come two
years after I’d left (United in 2012), maybe I
wouldn’t have come, I would have stayed at
Juve. I think it was the right time for him to
come, and for me to come back.”
Pogba went on to suggest he felt ready to play
in the Premier League less than two weeks after
arriving at United following his extended
holiday in America, with Mourinho confirming
on Thursday that he would play some part in
the Southampton match.
“I came here and trained hard. They made me
train alone because I didn’t play the first
game,” he said. “They made me run, and I
really like this because I’m used to this at Juve.
“Physically and mentally I feel great. The
training has been good. I’ve touched the ball a
lot too, I wasn’t used to this anymore. The
training is perfect.”
Mourinho claimed Pogba was content in his
role as the world’s most costly player, as he
predicted the Frenchman was ready to join the
game’s best as he prepares to return to the
Premier League stage.
“I see him very calm, I see him very
comfortable in this role of a star player and
feeling very well under that skin,” stated the
United manager.
“I don’t see him under pressure, I don’t see him
in training trying to do things to show that he’s
different, to show that he’s better.
“I think his impact will be something very
natural, a progressive impact of contribution to
improve the team, because that’s what he’s here
for - to win trophies.
“I’m not expecting, the first time he touches the
ball, to dribble past five guys and score a
wonder goal. I expect the first time he touches
the ball to make a correct pass, a good selection
of passing, a good choice, a good simple
execution and a fluid game.”
Mourinho stated on Thursday that Pogba may
already be the best midfielder in world football,
but he admitted he may struggle to win awards
like FIFA’s Ballon d’Or as they tend to be
handed out to goal scorers.
“Can Paul score Ronaldo and Messi’s goals?”
questioned Mourinho. “Not even 25 per cent, I
believe. I believe he cannot score 20 goals in a
“So if to be the best player in the world means
to score a lot of goals, that’s not the point. But
he’s one of the best midfield players, maybe I
could say the best midfield player, in the world.
“When you speak about the best players in the
world, you go immediately to the ones that
score a lot of goals.
“You don’t give a golden ball (Ballon d’Or) to a
goalkeeper. You gave it to (centre-back Fabio)
Cannavaro once, because in that season he was
the captain of Italy, the world champions.
“(Paolo) Maldini never got a gold ball. (Javier)
Zanetti never got a gold ball. Top goalkeepers,
over history, didn’t get a gold ball. You look
immediately to the ones that score a lot of goals.

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