The French midfielder has departed Manchester United, but remarks made by both Cristiano Ronaldo and himself imply they enjoyed a close friendship during their time together at Old Trafford.
Paul Pogba may have left Manchester United under a cloud, but his friendship with Red Devils talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is stronger than ever.
Since his return to Old Trafford for the second time in 2016, the French midfielder has failed to live up to expectations. The club paid a record amount of £89 million for the World Cup winner, but he fell far short of justifying that fee during his time in Manchester.
Pogba was one of the club’s most visible figures amid a difficult season in which the Red Devils finished with their lowest points total in Premier League history. Another, obviously more famous face in the locker room was Ronaldo, which led to rumors of a schism between the two as they jostled for influence inside the ranks.
They were, however, far from the reality, as evidenced by Pogba’s passionate defense of Ronaldo following his best performance of the season against Tottenham, in which the 37-year-old bagged a hat-trick.
“He [Ronaldo] has never been an issue.” You’ve got the best striker in history on your team; he can’t be a problem. Today’s effort from him and the rest of the team was outstanding,” Pogba added.
“Everyone knows Cristiano; there’s no need to bring him up.” That’s exactly what he does. He did not play in the last game, but he returns and scores three goals. “Everyone is content.”
It has now been revealed that the devotion was not one-sided, with The Athletic stating that Ronaldo saw Pogba as one of the few United players on whom he could rely when things were rough.
Because of the ‘variety and quality of Pogba’s passing abilities, the Portugal captain even wanted to team up with him while at Real Madrid. Both were regarded as someone to look up to and seek counsel from for the squad’s younger members. Ronaldo was even persuaded by United’s former number six to be more involved and patient with his teammates.
“Pogba’s final season at the club started off in a very promising manner, with an incredible four assists in our opening-day thumping of Leeds United, but more injury troubles would ultimately thwart his goals,” the Red Devils said in a statement.
“It was a low-key ending to a United career that had provided so many individual high points, so many magnificent goals, assists, and pieces of skill.” But for a boy who joined the Academy at the age of 16 to make over 200 United appearances and win the Youth Cup, as well as two significant pieces of silverware – not to mention the World Cup at the international level – is something to be appreciated and embraced.”
United’s statement confirming Pogba’s departure seems to allude to the notion that the 29-year-old has been a man of flashes of brilliance rather than contributing to the team.