Paul Pogba is not Lionel Messi, says ex-Manchester United star Quinton Fortune | football | Hindustan Times
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Paul Pogba is not Lionel Messi, says ex-Manchester United star Quinton Fortune

At Manchester United, Paul Pogba has struggled to replicate the form at Juventus which fetched him a world-record fee of UK Pounds 89 million. Quinton Fortune says fans should be patient with Pogba.

football Updated: Dec 12, 2016 22:26 IST
Gaurav Bhatt
Since returning to Manchester United, Paul Pogba has struggled to replicate the form at Juventus which fetched him a world-record fee of UK Pounds 89million (759cr) and a Champions League final encounter against Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.
Since returning to Manchester United, Paul Pogba has struggled to replicate the form at Juventus which fetched him a world-record fee of UK Pounds 89million (759cr) and a Champions League final encounter against Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.(Getty Images)

Former Manchester United player Quinton Fortune said that Paul Pogba is not Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi and that his critics need to show some patience.

Since returning to Old Trafford in August, Pogba has struggled to replicate the form at Juventus which fetched him a world-record fee of UK Pounds 89million (759cr). But Fortune believes the Frenchman will come into his own.

“There’s still a lot to come from Paul Pogba. He is only 23. People don’t realise when you come with a big price tag, there’s a lot of pressure.

“They expect you to come in and be like Messi. He’s not Messi. He’s Paul Pogba. He’s a different player who has to defend, attack and do everything,” said Fortune here on Monday.

Manchester United have drawn six and lost three of their 15 league matches and are in sixth position. And Fortune, who featured in three Premier League-winning seasons during his stint with United from 1999-2006, admits that the team has failed to win games they should have.

He added that it is 26 years too early to compare current manager Jose Mourinho to Sir Alex Ferguson — “the best manager, at the time or ever.”

“Alex was there for 27 years. Jose has had six months. He is a different man in a different era with different players. He has to find a way to make this team successful with his own style of play.

“With that comes a lot of pressure because this is Manchester United. With the history of the club, you expect it to win every single game,” said the 39-year-old Fortune.

INDIA’S GOT TALENT

Fortune, who is in India for the club’s grassroot initiative ‘Man U Soccer School’, believes the country has potential but needs better structure to climb up the rankings.

Quinton Fortune, who featured in three Premier League-winning seasons during his stint with Manchester United from 1999-2006, is in India for the club’s grassroot initiative ‘Man U Soccer School’. The six-city tournament will give a chance for four young talents to travel to Old Trafford and engage with the coaches and players. (MUSS)

“I saw Atletico de Kolkata’s match against Mumbai City and the thing that stood out is the fitness. The Indian players are very quick. But you need to realise that you’re producing these players without professional coaching. Imagine if the players were coached from a younger age.”

Fortune added, “There is a lot of money being thrown into the Indian Super League, which is great. But maybe guide that money into youth development?

“Germany winning the World Cup wasn’t a fluke. Belgium aren’t a fluke. The youth program there is huge. It’s all about whether your federation decides whether we’re going to do it.

“The Fifa Under-17 world cup will be an amazing exposure for the next generation. But while you’re doing that, there has to be a plan to develop players.”