UTD Podcast: Why Pogba left United in 2012
The subject of leaving United for Juventus - and returning - provides a fascinating section of our UTD Podcast...
It was some education in midfield with Scholes at United and then Pirlo at Juventus… You learn a lot and you look at them. I really learned and have been learning. It was unbelievable for me, seeing them training like that, and it pushed me. Okay, I have to work hard and have a lot more to do. Pirlo and Scholes, those are midfielders who control the game, the players to look at and I learn from them, a lot. Was it a case of feeling you had a point to prove to United after what happened? It was. To be honest, it was one thing: I will show them that they should have put me [in the team]. That was one very important point. I wanted to show them and the world, obviously. A lot of people talked about going to Juventus being a big mistake. When I was at United, a lot of people talked. Okay, not a problem – we will see at the end. I will show what I can do. By coming on and playing, it was a challenge for me. I’m a challenger. I love challenges. Where does that belief come from? Everything. My parents came from Africa to get to France and worked hard for me. I think, as a kid, you don’t really know but my mum, there used to be five in the house, and it’s hard for a mother. You have to feed them and have to be there for them and everything. She works hard to help us, you know. For us, so we have everything, because of her, so I have to work 10 times harder and it’s something I always have in my mind. My dad as well. To be the best, the first, to always want more. When you have a dream, just go for it. A dream is free. You wake up after a dream but, at least when you dream, you can dream as big as you want. You still dream and want to achieve it. What my goals are, I always want more, we can always learn at this age or 10 or even 40 or 50. You will always learn something. I love to learn new things. I love to try things and stuff. Can you remember what your brother said when you told him you were leaving? My brother, the United fan, told me he was really angry – even more than me – when I didn’t play. He told me: ‘No, go. You can play in this team. If they don’t want you here, go somewhere else. They will see.’ My mother always told me: ‘You will go somewhere but come back.’ She always said this. I was like: ‘We will see’ but you know mothers and the things she said: ‘You will come back here, don’t worry’ and that was just after. She said you will come back to Manchester, don’t worry, and I did. Did the world-record fee have an impact on you? Not for me. It’s nothing to do with me. I had nothing to do with it – it’s between the clubs. Obviously, because I went for free, I came back for a big amount of money and it made a big noise as well but not for me. Did you feel extra pressure to perform well? For me, no, but the world and fans and everyone, yes. Unfortunately, life is like that. It’s not me but it was for a big amount of money. At the time, it was the biggest transfer we don’t see it for a midfielder, more for strikers going for this kind of money, who will go and score goals. To see that from a midfielder, you have to score goals, make assists, make saves as well – even if you’re not a goalkeeper! You have to do more things so probably they see more of the transfer fee. Were you ready to come back to United and show what you could do? Yeah, when I came back, I was really happy to come back. I left it and didn’t finish. I started something but I didn’t finish, I just went somewhere else. To finish it. Obviously, coming back where I started was for me, why I was really happy. Now I’m ready to come as a confirmed player not a youth player.