Anyone who claimed Paul Pogba can’t perform in big games was left eating their words after the World Cup final.
Manchester United midfielder Pogba scored France’s third goal in their 4-2 victory over Croatia in Moscow, curling a left-footed shot past Danijel Subašić after his first attempt was blocked by a defender.
He also helped France secure their first win of the tournament back in the group stage, providing the last touch before Australia’s Aziz Behich scored an own goal to hand victory to Didier Deschamps’ team in their opening game with just ten minutes left to play.
However, it’s not just Pogba’s actions on the pitch that proved crucial to helping France end a memorable World Cup on a high.
As reported by the Daily Mirror, Pogba has spoken about the speech he gave his France teammates before they took to the field against Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium.
“I told everyone before the game, ‘We are 90 minutes away from realising our dream, we are 90 minutes from entering into history books for life, and we were 90 minutes away from making France rock — even children, and their children, will know about this,” he is quoted as saying.
“So guys, we can do this. There are two teams and a Cup and we are not going to let another team take this Cup.’ That is all I told them.”
Pogba has received a fair amount of criticism during his second spell with Manchester United, from pundits and football fans alike, with a number of people suggesting he has underperformed under José Mourinho.
The £89m fee United paid is still a record for a signing by an English club, and he will hope to add a Premier League or Champions League title to his World Cup triumph.
United finished second in 2018, 19 points behind champions Manchester City, with Pogba scoring six times. They also dropped out of the 2017/18 Champions League in the round of 16.