United’s Pogba: France duty ‘breath of fresh air’

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Paul Pogba has said that his time away from Manchester United when he is playing with France is a “breath of fresh air.”

In an interview on Sunday the midfielder admitted he was going through the toughest period of his career at the moment at United and that joining the French national team is a welcome respite.

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After being dropped in five of United’s last seven games in all competitions and after being heavily criticised in England, Pogba gave a stellar response on Saturday evening with a very good performance in France’s 1-0 win against Portugal.

Talking about his difficult time in Manchester, the midfielder told French radio RTL: “It is a period that I had never experienced in my career before, where I usually always play and always have the rhythm. And suddenly that changes. Little by little, I get my sensations back. I am finding myself again. This is what I have to do all the time and be consistent.”

As has been the case in the last four years, the national team is helping Pogba bounce back from a tough club situation.

“The national team is like a window being opened, it is a breath of fresh air,” said Pogba. “I was talking with Antoine [Griezmann] and Raphael [Varane] on Saturday. We were sat at lunch together and we were telling each other: ‘guys, I don’t know if we realise, but this squad is incredible.’

“When we come here, we are all happy to see each other. We are on the pitch, enjoying ourselves. It is not that we are not enjoying ourselves with our clubs but here, it is not the same. This squad is magical in the way we live together.”

Pogba will feel rejuvenated once more by his time with his French teammates. He had a long chat with Didier Deschamps this week and his performance against an in-form Portugal showed what he was capable of, even if he is not fully fit yet.

During the interview with RTL, he never talked negatively about Manchester United and his point about the atmosphere in the France squad was not a comparison with the atmosphere at United nor a criticism of the Old Trafford club.