Paul Pogba celebrating a World Cup win with France.

Everyone's talking about Paul Pogba's World Cup

Friday 13 July 2018 09:31

On Sunday, Paul Pogba could become only the fourth player in Manchester United history to lift the World Cup while at the club.

Should France overcome Croatia in Moscow on Sunday, the Academy graduate will join Bobby Charlton, John Connelly and Nobby Stiles – who were part of England’s 1966 triumph – in the history books.
Either way, Pogba has proven himself one of the leading stars of the 2018 tournament, with some of football’s most prestigious names rushing forward to lavish praise on the gangly wizard’s sophisticated and intelligent midfield displays.

Jose Mourinho said: "France scored [against Belgium] and then they tried to control the game, which they did, with a fantastic performance by Raphael Varane and a very good performance by Pogba. He played the game with great maturity. When he had to hold position and keep control of the game, he did. When Deschamps took off Giroud to bring on N’Zonzi, Pogba had more freedom – freedom to keep the ball, keep the ball away from dangerous areas, to assist Griezmannn for a great chance. He was very, very mature."

United legend Rio Ferdinand also commented: “There’s an understanding and maturity about his game. Throughout this tournament, he’s grown and grown. He emerged out of this game as the midfielder on the pitch.”

Jose Mourinho was a big fan of Pogba's performance against Belgium.
France head-honcho Didier Deschamps, who captained France when they won the 1998 World Cup, singled out United’s no.6 for special acclaim:
“All players need to be mentioned but it's true that Pogba was almost everywhere, not only in attack but he was also efficient in defence. [Roberto] Martinez had decided to put [Marouane] Fellaini on him so Fellaini was only worried about Pogba, so of course he had less freedom on the ball.
“[Paul] knew what to do, he left very little waste. He was more creative in terms of recovery of the ball, one-on-ones, he performed very well. He has grown in the team, he is a very expressive player. He knows what he has to do and what he does on the pitch can only increase his legitimacy in the group."
Former United player Eamon Dunphy, speaking on Irish television,  admitted he had been severely critical of the player on occasion, but was full of admiration for Pogba’s willingness to track opponents, out-jump Fellaini and get to the ball first.
While former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was pleased with the way Pogba “kept things simple”. “His long balls are exceptional,” added the 68-year-old. “Few can do that in the world.”

ANALYSIS's Mark Froggatt...

All of the pieces are coming together for Pogba and his influential form at the World Cup bodes well for United, ahead of a massive season for the club. Just imagine how confident he will be, after lifting football's most prestigious trophy (potentially) following an excellent tournament on an individual basis.

Pogba is busy preparing for the World Cup final and the biggest game of his career.

It has been reported that Paul's impressive performances with France are due in part to the presence of Ngolo Kante and Blaise Matuidi alongside him in central midfield, because they provide him with the freedom to focus on his strengths around the pitch. That is also good news for us Reds, following the summer signing of Brazil international Fred.

Jose Mourinho has already stated the former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder will "complement our other midfielders' qualities" and that surely alludes to Pogba, our potential world champion who will be afforded a hero's welcome upon his return to Old Trafford in August.