“Sometimes football can be cruel. Cruel and also beautiful.”
Paul Pogba has shared an emotional statement after France’s shock exit from Euro 2020 on Monday night.
Pogba and his French team were eliminated on penalties by Switzerland in the Round of 16 after a thrilling 3-3 draw in normal time.
France were favourites to win the tournament before a ball was kicked, and remained the bookmakers’ favourite until they were eliminated.
Paul Pogba on France’s Euro 2020 exit
Pogba wrote on his Facebook page that the game brought “sadness” to his team but happiness to his opponents, and that’s the “beauty of football”.
He said: “Sometimes football can be cruel… cruel and also beautiful. Yesterday, the game brought us sadness but happiness to our opponents. That’s the beauty of football.
“Of course we all wished that we could have had a positive result.
“Thank you so much to all of our fans across the globe. It was beautiful to see you, to hear you, and to celebrate with you. You gave us hope and joy throughout all of our games. We will keep our heads up and we will come back stronger.
“Finally, I want to wish congratulations to Switzerland.”
Pogba scored a beautiful goal to put France 3-1 up in the second half of the game, and converted his penalty in the shootout.
Kylian Mbappe on French exit
Pogba’s teammate Kylian Mbappe also released a statement after the loss, where he said that he is finding it “difficult” to sleep.
He wrote: “The sadness is immense after this elimination, we could not reach our goal. I’m sorry about this penalty. I wanted to help the team but I failed.”
According to multiple reports from across Europe, there was unrest and discontent behind the scenes in the France squad at the tournament, and among players’ family members in the stands.