The criticism just keeps on coming at Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, after he failed to have an impact for the France national team against Belarus.
Les Blues played out a goalless draw in their second World Cup qualifier against Belarus, a team ranked 70th in the world by FIFA. A lot of the criticism for their ordinary performance has been directed at 23-year-old Paul Pogba, who became the world’s most expensive footballer when he moved from Juventus to Manchester United this summer.
L’Equipe journalist Damien Degorre was very vocal about his disappointment with the midfielder, stating that Pogba’s aspirations for the Ballon d’Or seem futile with such performances. Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf has joined the bandwagon recently, saying Pogba was not worth one/fourth of Arsenal and France legend Patrick Vieira.
“If Pogba is € 120, then Vieira would now cost € 500! ” he said on French radio station RMC, according to le10sport.
Leboeuf is now an actor and celebrity in France, but enjoyed a successful career with Les Blues and Chelsea. He won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship with France, as well as two FA Cups and the League Cup with the Pensioners.
Patrick Vieira spent nine seasons at Arsenal and played a huge role in the club’s success in the late 90s and early years of the new millennium. The current manager of New York City FC is considered as one of the greatest holding midfielders of all time, with his tenacity, tackling ability and passing made him one of the driving forces behind the Gunners’ success.
Leboeuf played alongside Vieira in France’s triumphant World Cup and European Championship campaigns in 1998 and 2000, which may explain his excessively high appraisal of Vieira’s value. However, comparing him to Pogba is a difficult prospect given the generation gap between the two.
Vieira at the age of 23 had won one Premier League title and FIFA World Cup, while Pogba has won four Serie A titles with Juventus, was part of the Bianconeri team who were runners up in the Champions League in 2014-15, and helped France to the finals of Euro 2016.
The rising tide of criticism is based on the fact that Paul Pogba is not utilizing his free-roaming role under Didier Deschamps to dazzle for Les Blues. The 23-year-old will definitely need to pick up his game at the international stage to appease the French media and pundits.