Do you know why Pogba is called La Pioche?

Saturday 01 May 2021 08:00

Paul Pogba has tried to clear up the confusion around his somewhat unusual nickname, ‘La Pioche,’ while taking part in a fan Q&A.

The Man United midfielder has been known by that moniker for years among team-mates and friends, but supporters have been intrigued as to its origin and meaning.

If you translate from French, Pogba’s native tongue, to English, ‘pioche’ means ‘pickaxe’. But Paul admitted a bit of explanation is required!
Watch as Paul explains his nickname La Pioche, referencing a comedian from Ivory Coast.

“I don’t think people understand as it’s a French word,” laughs the World Cup winner. “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.”

The 28-year-old, who made his 200th United appearance when he came off the bench against Leeds United last Sunday, goes on to reveal how it was originally inspired by an Ivorian comedian.

“It comes from the comedian that is called Michel Gohou, from Ivory Coast. He used to joke with people and he used to say jokes; say things that never happened. Stuff like that.

“My La Pioche is a bit different from that Pioche! I don’t know if you get it?!”

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If you’re still struggling to get to grips with the concept, even after Paul’s analysis, maybe you could adopt the nickname some Juventus fans gave to our no.6 during his time in Italy: ‘Il Polpo.’

As connoisseurs of Italian cuisine might know, that translates as ‘the Octopus’. But Pogba wasn’t given that tag for his love of seafood; it was applied simply because of his long legs and dexterity when reaching out to bring the ball under control.

In 2017, team-mate Jesse Lingard admitted: “ He’s a midfield maestro, isn’t he? He’s an octopus! You just can’t get the ball off him. It’s like he grows an extra leg!”

So, La Pioche or Il Polpo: the choice is yours!