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Pogba On Mourinho: ‘A Coach And Player Don’t Have To Be Best Friends’

SEVILLA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R) coach Jose Mourinho of Manchester United, Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League match between Sevilla v Manchester United at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on February 21, 2018 in Sevilla Spain (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images)

As the two foremost personalities at an already monstrous club, manager Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba are scrutinised at every turn.

It stands to reason then that their own relationship has come under the microscope, particularly in light of some of the evidence that all isn’t rosy.

Just last month, Mourinho brought Pogba off after 58 minutes of United’s defeat to West Brom, and singled out his frustrating propensity for taking too many touches.

There have been repeated reports of a rift between the two throughout the season, with the associated rumour of a Pogba departure enraging Mourinho.

While it is evident from this interview conducted with Canal+ (via L’Equipe) that spells on the bench and general struggle haven’t helped matters between the two, Pogba is adamant that their professional relationship is ultimately a positive one.

“There were times when I was not playing, I was on the bench”, Pogba told the French broadcaster. “We talked a lot about it, people thought it was wrong.”

“But a coach and a player do not have to be best friends, we do not have to go to a restaurant together. I had small mistakes too… football is mental. He put me on the bench, I answer on the ground, I give my maximum every time.”

Despite some of his misgivings, Mourinho has made Pogba captain on occasion, a gesture that the 25-year-old treasures as he heads to the World Cup in Russia.

“He made me progress in leadership. I had the armband with Mourinho, it was the first time at a club.It’s important for me, and it also makes me grow to be a leader in the France team.”

Canal+ took the opportunity to broach the subject of the midfielder’s future, with Pogba cryptically stating: “We are never sure of anything! Contractually, it’s on, yes.”

About Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.