Friday 20 July 2018

Paul Pogba eager to earn his own World Cup star on France shirt

The Manchester United midfielder is well aware he played no part in the one star currently on Les Bleus’ jersey.

Paul Pogba, picutred left, celebrates with Samuel Umtiti, right, and Adil Rami after France’s semi-final victory over Belgium (Natacha Pisarenko/AP)
Paul Pogba, picutred left, celebrates with Samuel Umtiti, right, and Adil Rami after France’s semi-final victory over Belgium (Natacha Pisarenko/AP)

By Press Association Sport staff

Paul Pogba is desperate to add a star to his France shirt by winning the World Cup.

The famous blue jersey already carries a single star after Les Bleus’ triumph at their own finals in 1998, but Pogba is conscious that he and his team-mates did not earn that one.

Asked about Croatia wanting revenge for their semi-final defeat by France 20 years ago, the Manchester United midfielder told a press conference: “Croatia do not have stars – they want one. They have done very well and they want the victory, like us.

“But I do not have a star. It’s on the shirt, but I did not win it. We want to go looking for it like all players. It will be a World Cup final, a great match, difficult.”

France will head into Sunday’s final as favourites in the eyes of many, with Croatia having endured gruelling periods of extra time in each of their knockout matches.

However, that is not a theory to which Pogba subscribes.

He said: “We are not thinking about it. Croatia played a very tough match against England. They did not give up. They were losing 1-0 and came back.

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“There are two teams and one cup. They have played 90 minutes more than us – I don’t know if it’s a disadvantage for them or if they’re going to want to show that they want to win even more.

“For me, we are not favourites. We did not forget the doubts about us at the beginning of the competition, about our ability to play together.

“We haven’t done anything yet.

Luka Modric inspired Croatia to their 2-1 extra-time victory over England in the semi-finals, but Pogba insists it would be a mistake to consider him the only threat.

Asked if they had a plan for the Real Madrid schemer, he replied: “It’s not only Modric – there is also (Ivan) Rakitic, (Ivan) Perisic and even the defenders.

“I don’t think there will be a plan for Modric. There will be one for everyone.”

Press Association

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