A black year. For Paul Pogba, 2022 has been nothing short of terrible. On April 30, his agent and friend Mino Raiola died following a long illness. A huge loss for La Pioche, who grew up as a player and as a man alongside the Italian-Dutch businessman. On the field side, things were not necessarily better for the French midfielder. Indeed, Manchester United experienced a very complicated 2021-22 exercise with a change of coach, a locker room more divided than ever and poor results (6th in the Premier League, absence of the Champions League).
2022, a year to forget
And to top it off, the Frenchy has accumulated passages through the infirmary. The first between November 2021 and February 2022 following a thigh injury during training (87 days of absence, 14 matches missed). The second between April and May 2022 following a calf glitch (35 days of absence, 6 matches missed). Pogba could not finish the season and especially say goodbye to the Mancunian public since he played his last match on April 19. A small disappointment for the tricolor world champion who did not end his second spell at Manchester United on a high note.
At the end of the contract, he signed a 4-year contract for Juventus on July 11. After an interesting friendly against Chivas de Guadarajara (2-0 victory), the 30-year-old then injured his knee during training in Los Angeles. Quickly, a member of Juve revealed that Pogba was going to make a “conservative therapy for five weeks.” The idea was to be quickly on their feet to help the Turinese and the Blues. But on September 5, Juventus announced that he was going to have surgery. What may compromise his participation in the 2022 World Cup.
Pogba remains positive
One more concern for the Frenchman, who must manage in parallel the bomb dropped by his brother Mathias. On August 27, the latter posted a video on social networks where he promised to make big revelations about Paul and Kylian Mbappé. Since then, Mathias has revealed that his brother would have appealed to a marabout to attack KM7. What the main interested party refuted, he who brought the case to justice and who denounced attempts at extortion in an organized gang. Indicted and remanded in custody, like other accused in this story, Mathias Pogba continued to accuse his brother.
Silent since the beginning of this affair, Paul Pogba keeps his line of conduct. Long questioned by GQ Italia this Thursday, he simply indicated that he remained positive. “I’ve always been like that, naturally. I am a positive person. And maybe people in the end like positive people.” What certainly help him overcome the various hardships he has experienced this year. The player took the opportunity to discuss his return to Juve. “I like to think and say that my heart made the choice. Maybe it was also a good time to come back here”.
Juve, a choice of heart
He then added: “the last three years in Manchester, also marred by injuries, have not gone as I hoped. It’s not a secret. I thought if we added to that the fact that Juve also went two years in which they didn’t win the Scudetto, it was a good challenge for both of us. And maybe it was the right time to get together and try to take back the place that belongs to us, to Juve and to me. Above all, I want to win again.”. Injured, Pogboom wants to find his team as soon as possible.
“I always want to play, and I want to give the best of myself. Deep down, I know this tunic is special. She brings out the best in me. We built a great story with this team, which I never forgot even when I left Juve. Coming back here is always a motivation for me, an incentive to do well. I never doubted that was my place.” But it is a new Paul Pogba that the Italians have found. “The first time I came here I was younger and didn’t have the experience I have now. I grew up in personal life, I have two children, a wife and also as a footballer”.
A new status in Turin
He pursues : “I won the World Cup with France, the Europa League with United, I played with great players and a great team. I learned so much there, it was totally different from my previous experience. I had to take on more responsibility. I had less here at Juve when I was young, I had experienced players close to me. Now I look at myself and think that I have become like these players, like Pirlo, like Buffon, like Chiellini. And now it’s up to me to give what they gave Juve.”. A fine goal for the Frenchman, who admitted to finding Serie A more difficult than the Premier League and that it was the best league in the world.
“I say there is not much difference between playing for Manchester United and Juventus. When you are in a big club, you are in a big club. And Juve have always been the greatest team in Italy.” There, he found Massimiliano Allegri. “I have always had a very strong relationship with the coach. He is nice, honest. He knows me and always pushed me when we were here together. Even when I was in Manchester, we stayed in touch and we talked a lot. Pogba also gets along well with Didier Deschamps. But he knows he will have to prove to stay at the highest level because the competition is growing.
Find the Bianconeri and the Blues quickly
“The particularity of France is that every year there are players who are already 17 or 18 years old and who can play in the team. There is enormous talent. I think that’s why in recent years, France has always been a potentially very strong team (…) Looking at the list of players called up to represent France in the various matches, we say to ourselves that two or three high-level teams could be composed. It’s a good thing, but it’s also hard because the choice of coach becomes more difficult..
He adds : “There is competition but despite that a good group has formed, with a good mentality. The role of the coach is fundamental in this respect. Always having his confidence, doing well and helping my national team for many more years is my real goal.. His short-term goal is to return to the field with Juve and the Blues. “I like to meet the challenges of football and life, whether beautiful or not, with positivity and always with a smile. The love of football and the desire to come back to play are the engine that pushes me every day to work hard to come back soon. A challenge cut out for Paul Pogba, who only wants to be talked about for football and nothing but football.
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