Friday 15 December 2017

Paul Pogba: Rejoining Manchester United is like coming back home from a holiday

Paul Pogba has returned to Manchester United in a world-record deal
Paul Pogba has returned to Manchester United in a world-record deal

Manchester United have made Paul Pogba the most expensive footballer in history by bringing the midfielder back from Juventus.

The media will have to wait to speak to the 23-year-old but United's in-house television station MUTV asked him about his decision to return and plans for the future. Here is what he had to say.

Paul, welcome back to Manchester United. How do you sum up your emotions right now?

"There's no words, to be honest, there's no words. I just came back to Carrington. It was like I'd just came back home. I just went for a holiday, looks like I went for a holiday. I've come back home, I'm happy and I see everyone, the same persons. It's just a great feeling, to be honest."

I suppose it's a funny question after what you've just said but why are you back here at United? What made you come back?

"I think it's destiny, I would say it's destiny. First my mum told me I would come back here and I told her, 'You never know, we'll see'. For myself as well it's a big challenge too, just to come back to where I came from, where I grew up, where I started. I just didn't finish what I started here so I think I came here to finish it."

And of course, you have to listen to your mum...

"My mum, she says, 'Your mum is always right' so she was right this time, so it's good.

And how does it feel to be the world's most expensive footballer? That's quite an achievement with all that you've already achieved on the pitch, isn't it?

"The thing with me is I only think about the pitch. I want to do great, I want to be one of the best. I want to win titles, I want to achieve things and that's all - that's why I came here, just to do this, to become one of the best and to win titles because I know this club has to win titles. This club is created to win titles, to win things, to win big things. That's why. I am focused about this and that's it. I'm just ready to go and work on that and just kill it."

Has it been a mad summer for you, playing in the Euros at home for France and then being linked with various different clubs and then signing for United, coming home as you say?

"Yeah. There was there a bit of sadness of course because we lost the final at home, but I will say I'm happy. It was a bad thing for a good thing so I'm happy now. I'm back home and it's something crazy, it's really crazy. I cannot explain. I'm very, very happy. The feeling I have in my body is like I can't wait to start."

What's it like being Paul Pogba now, compared to when you were 17 or 18 here in this indoor arena at the academy?

"Well, I was younger, now I'm taller and bigger. It's just like, as I told you, it looks like I went for a holiday and I came back home. I was meant to come back here. I feel this. I always had this United thing in my heart and that's why I came back and I'm happy, just happy."

How have you changed as a player since you were here at United the first time around? What have you learned about your game, about yourself? How are you different?

"I've got more experienced, I've won titles in Juventus. I've been playing with big players like when I started at Man United, of course. And I came back, I've not come back from the academy now - just I went to play somewhere else and I came back as, I would say, as a person, as an adult. I would say with experience, with more games, so I think that's the difference."

In the second part of the MUTV interview, shown from 9am, Pogba spoke about working with Jose Mourinho and his targets for the future. Here are the best bits:

What thoughts come into your head when you think back to your early days here - the under-18s, the FA Youth Cup-winning season, breaking into that first team?

"When I first came, I remember when I was at the academy, they used come and drop us. I saw Warren Joyce, I remember the training we had with him, the changing room, the canteen where we eat. It is just the same and I was thinking about before. It was like a picture. It is something I cannot explain - it's crazy. I just feel happy. There is no words, to be honest, no words - just happiness, and I just can't wait to start playing with my new team. It doesn't even look like it's my new team - I just left this team and have just come back. It is just a great feeling to be honest."

And we've missed you on MUTV. We enjoyed having you here first time. How did your experiences of being at the club but also being on TV, on MUTV, regularly - how did that set you up for your career?

"I started on MUTV. My first interview was here at United. So now I have come back, I just feel like I left something and have just come back and I'm doing another interview. I am just taller, bigger and older - that's it. And I am just enjoying it."

And you are signing for a very successful manager now, with a big personality. So how important was he in your decision to come here as well?

"I spoke with a lot of players when he was at Madrid - I spoke with (Alvaro) Morata, (Raphael) Varane - and they all told me: 'he is a coach for me - he will make me improve a lot, because he makes you work harder'. I feel this. I spoke with him a few times and he gave me energy and positivity. So I was thinking: 'why not?' I'm sure he can make me improve and make me a better player and a better person."

It has been a big journey for you in the last six or seven years I suppose. Lots has happened but you are still very young. What do you feel you can achieve in your career?

"I want to win the league for the first time with United, because I hadn't won the league when I left. The Champions League of course. And, personally, one of my dreams is to win the Ballon d'Or. That will come with time, hopefully, but first I want to win the Premier League, which I have never done."

The move means you are reunited with someone like Jesse (Lingard), who of course you played with in the FA Youth Cup-winning team. Have you kept in touch with those guys? Are you looking forward to being back in the fold with them?

"Yes. We always kept talking. I kept in touch with him and I am very happy for him, for what he is doing. I'm proud of him because he just kept it up. I know he went on loan, came back, went on loan again, and it was just Jesse Lingard scoring goals as always. I am very happy for him. I see Sam Johnstone too, Will Keane, and some other players, some players who went away but we keep in touch. I'm very happy for them.

The fans are excited to have you in a Manchester United shirt - have you got a message for them, something to say to those who are looking forward to seeing you in action?

"I'm back and I can't wait to make them happy, to show them that I'm still Paul Pogba but in a different way and to show them I came here not to joke but to make them happy and to make them win the league. That is why I came here."

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