With one pass, Paul Pogba made us briefly forget his Man Utd woes


Since returning to Manchester United in a then world-record transfer in 2016, few players have divided opinion as much as Paul Pogba

Pogba is undoubtedly one of the most naturally talented midfielders in the world, regularly showcasing his incredible technique and dribbling skills.

But the 27-year-old has often struggled to live up to his billing at Old Trafford, making him equally one of the most frustrating players in the world.

One week he’ll produce a man of the match performance, the next he’ll be almost invisible. He’s football’s very own Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

During his impressive purple patch towards the end of last season, Pogba* looked to have finally turned a corner, forming a brilliant midfield three alongside Nemanja Matic and Bruno Fernandes.

However, a poor start to the 2020-21 campaign means the midfielder has found himself under intense scrutiny from pundits and fans once again.

The international break came as a welcome reprieve for Paul Pogba, and he delivered a timely reminder of his ability during a second-half cameo against Croatia.

Within five minutes of being on the pitch, he nonchalantly whipped a cross-field ball perfectly into Lucas Digne’s path, who crossed for Kylian Mbappe to score.

While the statistics give all the recognition to Digne and Mbappe, everybody knew that Pogba deserved most of the credit for France’s winning goal.

“He has this quality in the pre-assist,” Didier Deschamps said at full-time. “I don’t take away anything from the quality of the centre of Lucas Digne, but he has this technique quality, not necessarily by dribbling as he used to do it before, but this pass is the one that triggers everything.”

No matter how many times Pogba misplaces an easy pass or fails to track back, he’ll always be able to redeem himself to us with one moment of magic.

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in,” Michael Corleone famously said in The Godfather: Part III. We know the feeling.

*Buy Paul Pogba and thousands of other players on Football Index. 18+, UK and Ireland customers only, begambleaware.org. T&Cs apply.

By Nathan Egerton

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