Rangnick: Pogba knows how to handle his fast

Monday 18 April 2022 14:20

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has played down a suggestion that Paul Pogba was substituted against Norwich City because the midfielder is fasting throughout Ramadan.

The German has also said there are no plans for Pogba to break his fast during Tuesday evening’s pivotal Premier League match against Liverpool at Anfield, where kick-off is set for 20:00 BST. 

In case you didn't know, during Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating any food and drinking any liquids from dawn until sunset. Pogba is one of many players across the division who do this.
Part one: Ralf's press conference v Liverpool Video

Part one: Ralf's press conference v Liverpool

Watch part one of Ralf's press conference for the Premier League match at Liverpool, starting with an update on Bruno...

In a press conference with journalists at Carrington, Rangnick was asked whether provisions are in place for Paul to take on food and drink if the sun goes down during the game in Merseyside (before half-time, for example). 

“No, no,” replied Ralf. “As a player and as a professional, he's used to that and he knows how to handle that and to deal with that. Actually, I haven't spoken with him about that but I don't think this will affect his game and his performance.

“As far as I know, he is fasting but, as I said, I haven't spoken about that with him in person. But I've had quite a few other players [who fast]. I also know at least one player of Liverpool, he used to be my player, who is also doing the fasting. Ibrahim Konate, so he would also have the same problem.”

A lack of food and drink is an obvious challenge for any professional athlete to overcome, but Rangnick has total faith in Pogba’s experience in handling it. 

When asked if Paul was substituted against Norwich because of tiredness relating to fasting, Ralf was clear in his response:

“No, I just felt it was the right time to bring on fresh legs and fresh players. It also had to do with the score at the time but I didn't think about Ramadan or something like that.”

Find out if Pogba will start against Liverpool when the line-ups are announced at 19:00 BST on Tuesday.