Paul Pogba ignoring being ‘most criticised player in world’

‘I treat criticism like I did when I was a kid. I never listen to it’ says France midfielder

 France’s Paul Pogba celebrates his side’s  second goal against Australia at the Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia. It was later  amended to an Aziz Behich own goal. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

France’s Paul Pogba celebrates his side’s second goal against Australia at the Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia. It was later amended to an Aziz Behich own goal. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

 

After playing an instrumental role in both goals as France opened their World Cup with a win against Australia, Paul Pogba described himself as “the most criticised player in the world” and added he pays no heed to the slew of opinions.

“Criticism is always here,” the midfielder said.

“When I was little, with my friends we always used to take the piss out of each other, saying: ‘You were good, you were bad’. It’s about what happens on the pitch and I treat the criticism like I did when I was playing on the block as a kid. I never listen to it.

“I’m having fun and that’s the only answer I can give to all those people who criticise me or who think I am this or that. Everybody has opinions. I am less entitled to make mistakes than others. I went from the biggest transfer in the world to the most criticised player in the world.”

Pogba’s interventions made the difference during a match where France struggled to impose themselves, though the winning goal – initially credited to him – has been amended to an Aziz Behich own goal.

It needed individual moments – and there were not many – to make the difference while France struggled to find their balance or self-expression. Pogba was not alone in admitting the team need to improve for the second group game against Peru in Ekaterinburg on Thursday.

“It was difficult to find spaces between the lines against Australia which is our strong point,” he said. “If we win like that, we’ll take it. But we expect a better collective performance in the next match.”

Hugo Lloris agreed all-round improvement is expected.

“The whole team has to do more and be better with our energy on the pitch. We all have to raise our game. We always have to be on the same page. When 11 players are thinking the same it makes things easier.” – Guardian

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