Paul Pogba – the in-demand Frenchman has attributes that will fulfil any crowd’s aspirations – attitude, technique, and skill, leap (referring to his hang time) but more importantly an inspiring story! The box-to-box midfielder has taken full advantage of his Guinean roots to develop into one of the most sought after footballer going into next season. A sort of a perfect package you could say.
“I told Ferguson, ‘play me and I will show you I am ready’ against Blackburn, he put Rafael in midfield with Park and not me. Then I gave up.”
Sometimes giving up on what you want is hard, but could turn into a blessing in disguise, which was the case with Pogba. His actions were contrary to the cliché of “Never give up on what you want” – a platitude one would be reminded of at a frequent rate at a younger age. He gave up, not on his dream to become a star, but on his dream to become a star with Manchester United. He wanted United, but needed Juventus. This is no way is to justify giving up but instead focuses on one’s need, not want. The 22-year-old’s career is a perfect example for those under similar circumstances.
I would describe the wonder kid as a beautiful canvas that requires an impeccable illustrator. A question that crosses my mind – everyone’s mind as a matter of fact, is that who will paint him especially when a character like Sir Alex Ferguson could not? In simpler words, which club will make him the player we all expect him to be few years from now?
Real Madrid are in the hunt to secure his services, unsurprisingly. Manchester City want to bring him back to the city as a Blue, which most likely looks like the destination if he ever contemplates leaving Turin. But if there is anything to take away from his earlier statements, I believer he will remain at Juventus.
“There was a time when no team wanted to sign me except Juventus, Now when everyone wants me, I want to stay here forever.”
This is an old quote, but I think it still applies considering his current status with the bianconeri. Champions League finalist, 3 Scudettos, Coppa Italia, not to forget his individual honors, the golden boy was mentioned as the top 10 most promising young players in Europe list by many a publications.
We all had heard the phrase countless times; ‘Football was always in his blood’. It is the same in the case of Pogba as his twin brothers are footballers as well. His own career had begun at a very young age (6), going on to represent and lead France in his younger years.
Paul was playing for 2nd tier club Le Havre when Manchester United, defending European champions at the time, with, made the big announcement. It was obviously monumental for a 16-year-old Paul, like it would be for any teenager at that age. However, his time at United did not go as planned ending up with Pogba holding a sort of grudge against his manager Sir Alex Ferguson. The bitterness was based on the number of playing time given to Pogba, but according to the boss’ side of the story, the young star did not respect the club.
“It’s disappointing. I don’t think he showed us any respect at all.” – Sir Alex Ferguson
Thankfully for Pogba, when all else failed, there was Juventus. He played regularly, scored at will and was appreciated by experts and analysts. Circumstances were finally turning towards the positive as he received several honors like the Bravo Award, being nominated for the biggest Individual Award in European football – the Golden Boy in 2013 and achieving honorable mentions elsewhere. He scored beautiful volleys, humiliated his opponents with sublime skills and had a rocket of a strike from long distance – all of which was made to look so easy, by Paul Labile Pogba, who was living the dream with his long tentacle-like legs.
6th June, 2015
The greatest test for young Pogba was yet to come – the Champions League final, against an impregnable Barca side. Many considered Juventus the underdogs, yet predicted a win. Berlin saw host to a passionate audience, with few statements like “It had gone BERLIN” being made to address the environment.
Pogba was blessed to have a World Cup winner, the bearded regista Pirlo alongside him in midfield. At that very moment, no one knew how to handle pressure better than Pirlo.
Both teams were fighting for the historic treble. The stage was set – the performers were ready.
Paul, with his fancy dew stood alongside Pirlo and Evra, both veterans at their own rights, yet they had THE look on their faces. It was always going to be about the experienced and structured defense of Juventus against the deadly onslaught that could be expected from MSN – Messi, Neymar and Suarez. For Pogba, he could not have had asked for a better platform to prove himself to the world.
For all the excitement the match had brought, it was expected that a lacklustre Juventus team would be destroyed by Barcelona and such was the case on Saturday night.
Among the ooh’s and aah’s, among the shots that were fired over the crossbar, among the goals and saves, and among the game which favored the Catalan’s, Pogba stood out in the midfield when his side held possession. His perfect timing on certain tackles broke up play’s that could have eventually increased Barcelona’s stake in the game. Yet, regardless of Pogba’s performances, it was just destined to end in tears.
But surely, this is not the end of it all. He will come back stronger tomorrow, raising his standards yet again to become the best.
Indeed the future of the beautiful game is bright.