'That weighed a lot': Ex-Juventus star explains Paul Pogba's Manchester United struggles
Former Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli analyses Paul Pogba's struggles with Manchester United, whom he rejoined in 2016.
Having rejoined Juventus on a free transfer from Manchester United, Paul Pogba will be eagerly waiting for return to Serie A. The mercurial Frenchman had earlier moved to the Italian giants in 2012 from United and enjoyed a trophy-laden four-year stint, winning four league and two Coppa Italia titles. Then, he rejoined United for a then-world-record fee of 89.3 million Euros in 2016. But his second stint with United was filled with controversies, injuries and poor form. Speaking to Tuttosport, former Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli, who was Pogba's teammate during his first Juventus' stint, explained the midfielder's struggles with United and pointed out the 'burden' he suffered which 'weighed a lot'.
"In Manchester he suffered the burden of having to prove that he was worth the 105 million invested by United. From the outside, you do not perceive the pressure that a boy, however young, must endure when the expectations are very high. Or you are a player who scores 60 goals a year, otherwise it is hard to show that you are worth 105 million. That weighed a lot", he said.
"The player, however, is not disputed: he is still young and is one who shifts the balance. He will have a great desire to get back on track and win", he further added.
A player with world-class international caliber, Pogba won the FIFA World Cup trophy with France in 2018, defeating Croatia in the final. He was also part of the French team, which won the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League. During his time with United, he won the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League and also ended up as runners-up in 2020-21. The 29-year-old also helped them win the 2016-17 EFL Cup.
Barzagli also hailed Pogba's personality, calling him a 'player of international standing'. "Pogba is a player of international standing and has already played for Juventus. Paul knows what it's like to wear this shirt and he knows what it means to win. And he especially he brings personality, quality, goals and assists", he said.
"But what matters most to him is that mix of personality and quality that has come to decline a bit in recent years."