Our recent match with Juventus at Old Trafford brought about an emotional return to his former home for Cristiano Ronaldo and, tonight (Wednesday) it will be the same experience for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba in Turin.
The 25-year-old won four Serie A titles with Juve during his four-year spell and he’s looking forward to playing back at the Allianz Stadium. But his sole focus remains on helping United come away with a victory and he says it’s vital the Reds make a fast start to the game…
Paul, what does it mean to you to be back here?
“I would say it was the beginning of my professional career. It’s where I really started playing 90-minute games with the team and scored my first professional goal. The stadium has a very big history for me and I have good images and memories in my head. Now I come back as a Manchester United player which I’m really proud and happy about, and I hope we will come and win, and I hope I can show Juventus that I came back as a man and a better player.”
Off to Turin! Gallery
The squad has boarded the flight to Italy to face Juventus on Wednesday night.
Is there one memory that sticks out from your time with Juventus?
“I’d say my first goal. It stays in my mind. I just came on and scored the first goal of my career and that only happens once. I remember all the fans chanting and it was a great moment. The atmosphere is very good here and this memory always stays in my head.”
Are you expecting a great reception, in the way Cristiano Ronaldo was received at Old Trafford?
“I hope the fans will receive me quite well. It’s emotional for me but my main focus is helping the team win.”
They’re a really strong team, aren’t they?
“Every team has a weakness, we just need to find that weakness to win the game. They’re a big club, one of the best in the world, with big players. But we are Manchester United, we’re a big club too so hopefully tonight we can go home with a smile on our face, with three points.”
How important is it to start the game well?
“Starting well is always better. And against teams like this we have to start well, we cannot start slowly or badly because they could suddenly score a couple of goals if we do that and close the game. Hopefully tonight it will be different and we will start with more energy and start defensively strong; we will be going for the win.”