Monday 20 November 2017

Jose Mourinho calls Paul Pogba 'best in the world' but warns he won't win Ballon d'Or

Manchester United's Jose Mourinho (R) gestures with Paul Pogba
Manchester United's Jose Mourinho (R) gestures with Paul Pogba

Jack Austin

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has labelled Paul Pogba the world’s best midfielder, but warned he will not win the Ballon d’Or unless the award changes.

Pogba returned to United in a world-record £89m deal in the summer after spending four seasons with Juventus, where he won four Serie A titles, two Coppa Italias and reached the Champions League final.

However, the 23-year-old made a slow start to his second spell at Old Trafford leading some to question whether he was worth the fee paid by United.

His form has improved in recent weeks, along with United’s as a whole, and Mourinho insisted it would always take time for Pogba to readapt to the rigours of the Premier League.

“The Premier League is very difficult,” Mourinho told French television. “You play three, four years in Italy and you come to the Premier League and the world is completely different.

“He's doing well, he's doing more than well. His evolution is clear. So I can imagine that next season for Paul will be top.”

Pogba has scored five goals for United this season and contributed a further four assists but while Mourinho believes he is the world’s best midfielder, he feels the 23-year-old will never be voted the world’s best player because he is not a goalscorer.

The top three in the Ballon d’Or – Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann – are all strikers and Mourinho insisted the award must change if Pogba is to realise his dream and win the trophy.

“At the moment, if you're not a goal scorer, you cannot win the Ballon d'Or,” Mourinho said.

“But if the perception changes, then Paul can win it, because Paul is not a goal scorer.

“Paul is a midfielder who will score more and more goals, because I think he has good conditions to score goals. Paul is a midfielder, in my opinion, the best, the best in the world.

“Obviously, he's young, he can still improve, he wants to improve, which is even better.”

(© Independent News Service)

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