Must-read: Paul Pogba's fans' Q&A in full
Paul Pogba took part in one of our exclusive fans' Q&A sessions recently, shedding some light on his personality and life away from the pitch.
The midfielder responded to a series of questions sent in by supporters on matters such as what it felt like to score a goal in the World Cup final, which member of United's Treble-winning team would he most like to have played with and what the similarities are between Marcus Rashford and Kylian Mbappe.
Paul also revealed the people who have inspired him and picked his best display so far in the United shirt.
“Faiz, how you doing? I would say now I’m just getting used to it. I’ve been doing it for years. I have a professional nutrionist as well here who helps me with what I have to eat and also when I train, he gives me some stuff, some protein, so I don’t lose too much muscle and it’s okay. I’m lucky. It’s not that hot, you know, so I can deal with it. It’s not that hard, you know. It’s okay and it’s for a good cause so it’s good.”
Richard S (Poland): I love your attitude to life. It’s so positive. Who inspired you the most off the pitch growing up and why?
“Hi Richard, I really appreciate this. I got this inspiration from my family – my mum and dad. I grew up just like this, being positive. That is our personality. We enjoy life really because we are blessed. That is how we feel – we are blessed, we are lucky to breathe, just to see and everything because we want to enjoy every moment in life.”
Edward M (Canada): Who did you model your game on growing up?
“Hi Edward, basically I was watching a lot of players. French ones like Thierry Henry, Zinedine Zidane – even Jean-Pierre Papin, I was watching some videos of them. Brazilians Ronaldinho and Ronaldo. Patrick Vieira. Because I was more of a striker before, I was watching the strikers and everything but then I went to no.10, no.6 and no.8 so I started watching everyone. To see what can I improve on in my game, what can I take from all those players just to make my own to make Paul Pogba?”
“Hi Rafael. Good question, very good question! I don’t know. I didn’t know what to do so I started running. I was so excited and I was so happy. I had so many feelings at once. I ended up running [laughs] and didn’t do anything, just celebrated! It was a great feeling. I was so happy and proud and nervous, but in a positive way. All these feelings.”
Aditya J (India) Who has been your toughest opponent on the pitch?
“Aditya, to be honest, it’s tough against N’Golo Kante. Casemiro. Casemiro is a hard one also. I can’t remember, they’re the first ones that come into mind, that I had. Yes, those are the first ones, maybe there are a few more but I don’t have the names now.”
Richard G (Ghana) What would you consider as your greatest performance in a Man United shirt?
“Richard, how you doing? I would say because it’s a memory of the game, the 3-2 versus Manchester City because I scored two goals. We ended up winning the game and we didn’t lose so, if City won the game, they were going to be champions against us. We avoided that so I would say this one.”
“Maytham, whoa this is a tough question! Maybe I would say, and it is my opinion, and it would be because of my generation also, I might say Zinedine Zidane. It’s because of my generation that is who I see and all that. There are other names obviously – Henry, Platini, Jean-Pierre Papin – many, many icons, top-class players. But, from my generation, I would say Zinedine Zidane.”
Noah M (UK) How would you sum up your experience at school here in England and how important do you think it is for players to get qualifications and a good education?
“Hey Noah, I think that’s a very good question, this one. Unluckily for me, I stopped when I was very young. I was 16 or 17 when I stopped school to follow my dream, in my heart to believe I would become a professional player. But I really wish that I had also had a diploma, and stuff like this, because you never know what is going to happen. But I think with the education you get, you get a lot of education from outside home, which is at school and your friends. You choose your friends and stuff like that and you also finish it at home. I would say you learn at school to be with different people, to be focused. It’s something you have to consider when you’re at school, something to push you to follow your dream and go for it. I don’t think that is only in sport but also at school. That can help, school can help young kids to go and follow their dream.”
Min H (Myanmar) Who is the best? Messi or Ronaldo?
“Hi Min. It’s a nice but trick question as there is no best for me. Two different players. They are two players who both bring joy to watch. Any people are going to have their own opinion of them, just two legends. Me, I would just say they are two legends and not one is better than the other one. Just two people that gives us football players, or football lovers, joy to watch.”
Sabrina O (UK) If you could go back in time and offer any advice to your younger self, what would it be?
“If I go back in time, whoa [laughs]! Sabrina, to be honest, I don’t know. Maybe – you speak about sports and football? Nothing really. I take everything that came. I enjoy it. I think everything came at the right time, the right moment. If I change something in my past, my life would not be the same today so enjoy every moment. You cannot go back and change it.”
“Hi George, I remember that it was new, something of a new culture for me, coming to United. It was a dream come true. What I remember is with our kids, like me, Jesse, Sam Johnstone, all the players, the Keanes, we had a dream to play professional and play for the first team. To enjoy, and when I see the guys in the first team and follow our dream. It’s this that’s beautiful, just beautiful. We believed and we achieved and that is something that, if I have a message for kids and everything, it is just to believe in your dream and you can achieve it.”
Michael O (Nigeria) Your smile during games is infectious. How do you manage to stay so happy in games, was Ronaldinho an inspiration in this respect?
“Hi Michael, like I’ve said, football started in the streets, laughing with my friends. That’s how I started playing football. So, I man, smiling or being angry won’t change the result. I just feel happy, feel confident when I’m happy on the pitch. That is when I can perform on the pitch the best, just keep smiling, keep believing in myself. After, we will get the result that we want.”
Alan M (UK) What does your nickname La Pioche mean and where does it come from?
“Hi Alan, I don’t think people understand as it’s a French word so, basically, it’s like the joker; the person that jokes and likes to annoy people sometimes, but in a jokey way. That’s La Pioche. How I see it, the Pioche to other people. It comes from the comedian that is called Gohou, Gohou Michel, from Ivory Coast. He used to joke with people and he used to say jokes, say things that never happened, stuff like that. That’s where it came from, my La Pioche is a bit different from that Pioche. I don’t know if you get it!”
Steve M (Nigeria) Who has the best dress sense in the changing room? Is it you as your style is out of this world. Where do you get the inspiration for it?
“Steve, I think you already know! [laughs] Yeah, it’s just different, you know. Sometimes people don’t understand it and are a bit surprised with the colours I put in. I’m just being myself, just being different. Maybe I’m not the best but, for myself, I am the best and that is all that matters.”
Mo A (UK) Rashford and Mbappe – what are the similarities and what are the differences?
“Hi Mo, they’re two big, big, big talents. I think they are so young and so talented. They achieved so much for their young age. I think they are the present and the future of football.”
“Ooh, good one, Maxwell. Good one. Maybe David Beckham probably. Yeah, David Beckham.”
Cecil O (Kenya) Seeing as you are a basketball fan, who do you think will win the NBA this year?
“Oh Cecil, this is a hard question. This year, you see a lot of teams at their best, playing right at the level and it is very high this year. So, I don’t think Brooklyn will win. I don’t know why. I think it’s too early. They have a very good team but I go for the Lakers when LeBron and AD come back. I think they’re very good and it might be back-to-back for the Lakers.”
“[Laughs] Hi Ionne, this is a nice one besides him, I would like to say Maguire [laughs]. The best finisher, I think it’s Mason. Yeah, Mason, I would say. And Edi. Yeah, Mason with the feet and Edi with his head.”
Lucy R (UK) Who is the tidiest and untidiest in the dressing room?
“Ah yes, okay Lucy. The most tidy is Donny, it’s Donny van de Beek and the least tidy is Eric Bailly [laughs].”
Zain A (UK) – What’s your favourite other sport?
“Hi Zain. My favourite other sport, you know, is basketball. Defo basketball. I watch tennis, F1 sometimes. I like ping-pong too as I used to play it.”
Anthony J (India) Is Juan Mata really the nicest guy in the Premier League?
“Hi Anthony, Juan Mata is the nicest man, I would say, on the earth. Such a nice person, such a gentleman. He is the gentleman of the world, such a nice guy. Top man.”
Karen B (UK) I like your latest hairstyle – where do you get it cut and the inspiration for the style?
“Karen, I just try something new. I just trying something new as I’m someone who changes their hair a lot. I just went for this one as it was new and I’d never seen someone have his hair like that. I went for it and I like it also. Thank you for that. I appreciate it.”