Are Pogba and Kante better than Vieira and Makelele?

Saturday 19 June 2021 07:00

Patrick Vieira and Paul Pogba have compared two of France's best midfield partnerships as the Manchester United star hopes to continue lighting up Euro 2020.

Former Arsenal legend Vieira spent time with Pogba for an exclusive interview in L'Equipe this week and was keen to ask about our no.6's combination with Chelsea terrier N'Golo Kante in the middle of the park.

Both men were excellent in the 1-0 victory over Germany in Munich, with Pogba named UEFA's Star of the Match.

Patrick Vieira and Claude Makelele together for France in a game against Spain.

"I was waiting for that question," said Pogba, when quizzed on whether Vieira and Makelele were better. "First, it's another generation with defensive qualities superior to ours, in my opinion. Because Patrick defends way better than I do. In fact, between Makelele and N'Golo, I don't know who is the best defender. For me, their duo is a bit stronger."

Vieira interjected to say: "I'll leave this comparison to journalists. But what is interesting is that I felt really well alongside Claude. And if I have lived this career, it is because I have played with really good partners. This permitted me to express myself. With 'Make', we enjoyed ourselves.

On the field, I don't know if Paul and N'Golo are the same, but when it was getting difficult, we looked at each other and I'd say to Claude : 'We have to start whacking some people!'

"Anyway, I could have played with N'Golo and I think Pogba could also have played with Claude," add the ex-Gunner. "But, these are two duos with different qualities. Even Claude and N'Golo could have played together."

Pogba admitted most current players are more focused on attacking, adding: "Football has changed a lot. Today, we, as players, are really attracted to this idea of scoring goals more than not conceding one."

When Vieira suggested a two-versus-two game, Paul replied: "Bring your shin-pads then because, with N'Golo, there are going to be some whacks!"