Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he hopes World Cup winner Paul Pogba “understands why he was very good” during the tournament

 


    World Cup 2018: Paul Pogba's curling shot puts France 3-1 up against Croatia
    Image captionWorld Cup 2018: Paul Pogba’s curling shot puts France 3-1 up against Croatia

    Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he hopes World Cup winner Paul Pogba “understands why he was very good” during the tournament.

    Red Devils midfielder Pogba scored as France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final to win the World Cup for the second time.

    Mourinho said the 25-year-old was “absolutely brilliant” in Les Bleus’ final three matches in Russia.

    “It’s about him understanding why he was so good, especially in the second part of the competition,” he said.

    “I think that’s the point, about his performance level and his contribution to a winning team.”

    • Pogba’s shin-pad tribute to father

    Pogba joined United for a then world record £89m in August 2016, but fell out of favour at times during the 2017-18 campaign.

    He was left out of the starting line-up for both legs of United’s Champions League last-16 defeat by Sevilla.

    After France’s victory on Sunday, former United defender Rio Ferdinand said it was “down to Jose to unlock this Pogba we saw at the World Cup because he was responsible, he stood up to a lot of hard tests in midfield, and was a talisman for this team”.

    The making of France's Pogba
    Image caption The making of France’s Pogba

    While the Red Devils have travelled to the United States for their pre-season tour, Pogba is resting after his exploits in Russia.

    Mourinho, speaking in Los Angeles, said: “I did with Paul what I did with all my players.

    “I sent a nice message before the World Cup and during it I did not disturb anyone. They needed to focus on the job for their national team.

    “After the World Cup I sent a different message than to the other guys because he won the competition.”

    Meanwhile, Mourinho said goalkeeper David de Gea, midfielder Nemanja Matic and new signing Fred are due to link up with the squad next week.

    Forward Alexis Sanchez has missed the start of the tour as he has been unable to get a visa.

    “He’s very sad. It’s not good for him or me, not good for anyone,” said Mourinho.

    “There is no-one to blame – the club is making an effort. I have to respect the US authorities in their process of selection of visas.”

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