Paul Labile Pogba, the world renowned footballer who plays for Premier League club Manchester United and the France national team, was awarded the Best Young Player Award for his performances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Here are some very interesting facts about the French professional footballer:
He was born Paul Labile Pogba, on March 15, 1993, in Lagny-sur-Marne, France, to Fassou Antoine Pogba and Yeo Pogba.
He is youngest of three children with two older twin brothers, Florentin Pogba and Mathias Pogba, who also play professional football.
He has picked up nickname ‘Polpo Paul’ which literally means ‘Paul the Octopus.’ This was given because of his lanky frame and for the length of his legs with which he controls the ball easily. He is also called as ‘Pogboom’ for his goal scoring ability.
His father Fassou came to Paris from Guinea, his country of origin and was employed in telecommunication. He coached his son when he was four, along with other kids of locality at Residence la Renardiere.
He took up football seriously when joined ‘US Roissu-en-Brie,’ club. After being with tem for seven years, he moved over to US Torcy, where he served as captain of the club’s under-13 team.
After a season with Torcy, Pogba joined the professional club, the ‘Le Havre Athletic Club,’ and he led their under-16 team to the final phase of domestic league.
Pogba made his France Youth Team debut in a youth international against Wales on September 23, 2008. He went on to represent national under-17 and under-19 team along the way and captained the national under-19 team to semi-final of 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Championship.
As the captain of national under-20 team, he led them to France’s first FIFA U-20 World Cup title. He was named best player of the tournament and was awarded the Golden Ball.
Despite an ‘non-solicitation agreement’ with his club Le Havre, which was in place until end of the 2009-10 season, Pogba announced his intension of moving over to Manchester United in England, which was criticized by his club.It was reported he was lured for £87,000 and a house. After initial resistance, he was cleared by FIFA and his club.
On October 10, 2009, Pogba made his debut for the Manchester United under-18 team against Crewe Alexandra in a 2-1 defeat.He finished the season with seven goals in 21 appearances.
In the third month of 2010-11 season, Pogba was called up to club’s reserve team in November and made his debut in 3-1 win over Bolton Wanderers. He was impressive in his goal scoring ability with his long range shots, described as a ‘piledriver.’
Although he was promoted to the club’s first team for the F.A Cup fifth round match on February 19, 2011, he continued to be part of under-18 team and helped it to win the F.A Youth Cup title.
For the 2011-12 seasonclubs’ managerAlex Ferguson was keen that, Pogba should make his grade and was made a permanent in the club’s reserve team. He made his first appearance in ‘Premier Reserve League’ on August 15, 2011, against Arsenal.
On September 19, 2011, Pogba came on as a half time substitute to make his club’s professional debut for the senior team in the ‘Football League Cup’ against Leeds United. He went on to make his Premier League debut on January 31 and the UEFA Europa League in the same season.
On July 03, 2012, it was confirmed by the Manager Ferguson, that Pogba has left for Juventus, when demand for improved contract were not met. Pogba was accused of disrespecting and disappointing the club with his move.
The transfer was made official on August 03, when he signed a four years contract. He had already spent few days training alongside new teammates and sported the black and white stripes jersey in friendly against Benfica in Geneva on August 01.
He made his debut for his new club on September 22, 2012, in the Serie ‘A’ match against Chievo, and scored his first goal against Napoli, in 2-0 win on October 20th.
On October 31, in the game against Bologna, Pogba scored the winning goal two minutes into injury time. His close-range header from Sebastian Giovinco cross sealed the point for his team. The media were running out of superlatives with some calling him ‘monster.’
Pogba made his France’s senior team debut on March 22, 2013, in the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Georgia and scored his first international goal on September 10, against Belarus, in the same completion.
On May 05, 2013, during Juventus 1-0 win over Palermo for its 29thSerie ‘A’ title, Pogba was sent off after being red carded seven minutes from the final whistle for spitting at Salvatore Aronica. He retaliated for being slapped on the face.
Pogba was elected man of the match when Juventus won the ‘2013 Italian Supercoppa,’ defeating Lzio, 4-0 on August 18. He was named 2013’s ‘Golden Boy’ as the best young player in Europe.
As a justification for being named by ‘The Guardian’ as one of the ten most promising young players in Europe, Pogba scored his first goal in the ‘UEFA Club Competition’ as Juventus defeated Trabzonspor 2-0 in the first leg.
He ended the 2013-14 season with 51 appearances for the club with 9 goals and helped Juventus win the Serie ‘A’ title and reaching the semi-finals of the Europa League.
He scored his first ever goal in the Champions league on November 04, against Olympiacos, in his 100th appearances with clubs jersey. Earlier on October 24, 2014, he signed a new improved contract with his club until June 2019. It was reported his fee was trebled from existing wages.
Pogba was youngest at 21 years to be listed among the best 23 shortlisted candidates for the ‘2014 Ballon d’Or’ award. He was awarded the ‘Bravo Award’ by the Italian sports magazine, ‘Guerin Sportivo,’ as the best under-23 player participated in the European competitions.
Juventus went on to win its fourth consecutive Serie ‘A’ title with Pogba contributing with goals at important junctures and ended the season with eight goals and three assists in his 26 appearances. He was out of action for about two months with hamstring injury.
Pogba played an important role in taking the club to 2015 UEFA Champions League Final for the first time in 12 years. He set-up Alvaro Morata’s equalizer against Real Madrid, in the second leg-semi-finals which paved the way to finals.
On January 08, 2016, Pogba was named in the ‘2015 UEFA Team of the Year,’ and three days later he was also named to the ‘2015 FIFA FIFPro World XI.He also had the distinction of being shortlisted for the 2015 EUFA Best Player in Europe Award, in which he was placed tenth, after the voting.
On August 08, 2016, he returned to his former club, Manchester United, on a five year contract for a then record fee of € 105 million plus bonus of € 5 million. His agent Mino Raiola also benefitted from his transfer with € 27 million from Juventus.
Pogba represented his national team in both the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016 with reasonable success. He was voted as the tournament ‘Best Young Player,’ in 2014 World Cup and was instrumental along with Antoine Greizmann, in taking the team to finals of the tournament in 2016.