Ibrahimovic backs Pogba’s ability to handle ‘24-hour pressure’

Manchester United’s record signing ‘belongs at top’ despite poor show against Liverpool

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba reacts after a missed chance against Liverpool on Sunday. Photograph: Phil Noble/ Livepic/Reuters

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba reacts after a missed chance against Liverpool on Sunday. Photograph: Phil Noble/ Livepic/Reuters

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has no doubt Paul Pogba can handle the “24-hour pressure” of playing for Manchester United despite a poor display against Liverpool that included conceding the penalty that gave Jürgen Klopp’s side a first-half lead.

United required Ibrahimovic’s 84th-minute header to share the points on Sunday after Pogba handled a corner to gift Liverpool a penalty that James Milner converted. This was the headline mistake in a disappointing display from the 23-year-old, who cost United a world record £93.2 million (€105.8 million) and had been among United’s best recent performers.

Yet Ibrahimovic said: “Pressure is something I enjoy. I don’t know Paul personally to able to answer that for him. But I think he likes it also because, without pressure, we would not be on our toes at the top level. If you want to play at the top, pressure is 24 hours, and if you play well or better, the pressure becomes even greater. So it’s something that we learn from and something we have to handle because we belong to the top. Paul belongs at the top absolutely and the pressure will be there.”

Last week Pogba became the first footballer to have his own emoji on Twitter. This was widely publicised, including on United’s website. Ibrahimovic does not believe this affected the midfielder.

Social media

Ibrahimovic likened outside pressure on him to that from a kindergarten. “I think the pressure I have all around me is nothing compared to the pressure I put on myself. I really want to do, not perfect, more than perfect, every game, even in training. I’m not happy if I don’t win in training, so imagine what it’s like in the games. That is the pressure I put on myself and so your pressure becomes like a kindergarten for me. I’m not satisfied if I get what I want. What I want is to win.” Guardian service

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.