Paul Pogba’s top team-mates XI
At 27 years old, Paul Pogba has already achieved more than most players do in their entire career and he has played with some pretty incredible footballers with Manchester United, Juventus and France.
While this side is based primarily on whom Paul has shared a pitch with the most, we’ve allowed some discretion based on positions and formation…
Gianluigi Buffon (156 games with Pogba)
It's a pretty strong start to Paul's team with the legendary Gianluigi Buffon between the sticks. The Italian, whose career has spanned over four separate decades, is considered one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time and has won almost every accolade possible in Italian football, as well as the World Cup.
Stephan Lichtsteiner (123), Leonardo Bonucci (161), Giorgio Chiellini (125), Patrice Evra (92)
Pogba’s four-man defence is made up entirely of former Juventus team-mates, although one - Patrice Evra - did play with our no.6 at United on four occasions, plus numerous games on the international scene. With 92 appearances alongside Paul, Evra actually has the lowest tally in this XI, but still makes the cut as no other left-back has a higher number.
In contrast, Leonardo Bonucci’s total of 161 appearances alongside Paul is the highest in the list. The experienced centre-back has, over the years, formed an impenetrable centre-back partnership alongside partner Giorgio Chiellini - in fact, the duo are so resolute at the back that former United boss Jose Mourinho once famously claimed they could lead a masterclass in defending at Harvard University.
Stephan Lichtsteiner completes the backline. The full-back is the third-highest capped Swiss player of all time and spent seven years at Juventus, before moving to Arsenal in 2018.
Andrea Pirlo (93), Claudio Marchisio (131), Arturo Vidal (96)
This formidable trio were the mainstay of Juve’s incredible 2014/15 campaign, when they won the Double and made it to the Champions League final. Along with Paul, this is actually the four-man diamond that lined up against Barcelona at Berlin’s Olympiastadion that evening.
Andrea Pirlo established himself as one of the game’s most technically gifted players during his career and was renowned for his excellent repertoire of free-kicks. The midfielder won the World Cup with Italy in 2006 and was included in UEFA’s all-time European Championship XI.
His former international team-mate Claudio Marchisio was also a supremely talented player and the Turin native spent the majority of his career at Juventus, before retiring last October. As for Arturo Vidal, the current Barcelona man has represented some of Europe’s finest clubs and won league titles in Italy, Germany and Spain, while also playing a pivotal role in Chile’s successes at the 2015 and 2016 Copa America.
Pogba's all-time XIGallery
Flick through Paul's team, based on which players the midfielder has lined up alongside most often in his career.
Jesse Lingard (114), Anthony Martial (109), Marcus Rashford (122)
Paul’s front three is made up entirely of current United team-mates. Marcus Rashford has shared a pitch with Paul more times than any other United player, with all 122 games together coming in the Reds' first team. From those matches, Paul and Marcus have scored 51 goals.
Pogba’s good friend Jesse Lingard also makes the team, with 14 matches coming for United’s Under-23s, meaning the duo have played together exactly 100 times in the first team. As for Anthony Martial, he and Pogba have been team-mates at club level and with France. The pair first actually played together during an international friendly against Portugal in September 2015.
POGBA'S FULL XI:
Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Pirlo, Marchisio, Vidal; Lingard, Martial, Rashford.
ON THE BENCH
As mentioned before, Pogba's XI was based mainly on which players he has played with most often in his career, but we’ve allowed some creativity to incorporate positions and tactical systems. For instance, David De Gea is seventh on the list of the highest appearances, having been on the same team-sheet as Paul on 121 occasions. However, with Buffon already between the sticks, our no.1 has to settle for a place among the substitutes.
Other players who didn’t quite make the cut were Andrea Barzagli (113), Chris Smalling (94), Juan Mata (92), Kwadwo Asamoah (84), Ander Herrera (84) and Carlos Tevez (80).
Stats courtesy of www.transfermarkt.com.
Reading this in our app? If not, you might miss some exclusive features not found on ManUtd.com. Download the Official App here.