Jose: Fantastic World Cup will only help Pogba
Jose Mourinho believes Paul Pogba’s sensational World Cup win with France is a huge positive for the 25-year-old midfielder, ahead of his third season since re-signing from Juventus.
The boss delivered his first press conference of the 2018/19 campaign in Los Angeles earlier today (Wednesday), ahead of Manchester United’s match against Club America on Friday (03:00 BST), and spoke gushingly of the Academy graduate’s performances in Russia.
“To win the World Cup can only be a positive thing,” suggested Mourinho. “So many players never had the chance to be a world champion, because their country was not strong enough or because they couldn’t help that team enough to make it happen. For Paul, to be world champion can only be fantastic.”
The Portuguese was also keen to give credit to Pogba for the way in which his contribution to France’s bid to win the competition increased as they progressed through the knockout stages.
“I hope that he understands why he was so good,” said Jose, of our no.6’s efforts. “In the second part of the competition – quarter-finals, semi-finals, final – he was, in my opinion, absolutely brilliant.
“I think that’s the point about his performance level and his contribution to a winning team – it’s for him to understand why he was so good.”
Pogba drew almost universal acclaim for the discipline and maturity of his displays, with a range of pundits including club legend Rio Ferdinand and former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger among the vocal admirers.
Mourinho also revealed that he had sent messages of support to all of the United players taking part in the World Cup, both before and after the tournament.
“I did with him [Pogba] what I did with all my players. I sent a nice message before the World Cup and during it, I did not disturb anyone. They needed to focus on the job for their national team.
“After the World Cup, I sent a different message than to the other guys, because he won the competition.”
The manager also believes success in Russia signals a bright future not only for Pogba, but the French national team, who boasted the second-youngest squad across the whole competition.
“It’s a young team. Apart from [Olivier] Giroud, [Hugo] Lloris and maybe one or two others that I don’t have in mind, they are all young. They have more Euros to play together; they have more World Cups to play together. So I think the future for him, together with that fantastic group of players in the national team can only be brilliant.”