Paul Pogba: I want to be a leader for France at the World Cup

by Leo Nieboer

Paul Pogba has expressed his desire to serve as a senior figurehead for France at the World Cup in Russia this summer.

The Frenchman has endured a mixed second season at Old Trafford – one blemished at times by injury or form issues, and also lit up by sensational performances against the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal away from home.

Pogba has shouldered the burden of expectation at Man United this season more than anyone and the same will no doubt be the case for Les Bleus as well.

Speaking on French television channel Canal, the 25-year-old outlined his aim to lead from the front for France in Russia.

“I hope now, at the World Cup, I’m going to take the reins of the France team, try to be the boss on and off the pitch,” he said.

“I hear it a lot. I hope to give my answer on the pitch and show everyone. I was the best young player [in 2014]. I hope I’ll be the best player overall at the World Cup. That would be great.”

Many United fans will likely point to Pogba over the World Cup and express anger at why such thrust, such liveliness in middle, cannot be replicated under Mourinho, who many see as the primary reason behind the Frenchman’s occasional stagnation at Old Trafford.

But to compare the two would be unfair. Playing at a major tournament, with N’Golo Kante behind you and attackers like Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele in front of you, is a different dynamic altogether to a home game against Huddersfield Town.

He is a man who thrives off the sense of occasion, who adores the spotlight and responsibility. That is why he has dominated Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur this season. And that is why he is demanding himself to lead the charge for France in a few weeks time.

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