After leaving Manchester United on a free transfer in 2012, Paul Pogba returned four years later for a world record transfer fee as a bona fide superstar.
Pogba, 24, won three trophies at Old Trafford in his first campaign as the world’s most expensive footballer, and the £89million man has now graced the cover of Esquire Magazine ahead of his second campaign.
In this interview with the fashion outfit, the France midfielder talks about the pressures of being the most expensive player in the world, life as a Muslim in Manchester and the recent death of his father.
Here are excerpts from his interview with Esquire magazine.
On Mourinho’s comments on unfair Criticisms
“I accept that we didn’t play well, we didn’t do this, we didn’t do that. I know what we did — we won three trophies. That’s all I know. And that’s all that matters.
“Because you can be the best team in the world, you can play great football and you win zero trophies.
“And who remembers them? No one. Right?”
On Being World’s Most Expensive Player
“After one week, I forgot. It’s people that reminded me. Because at the end of the day, when you die, the most expensive and the less expensive, they go in the same grave.
“So I don’t even think about it.”
On his Father’s Death
“When you lose someone you love, you don’t think the same way. And that’s why I say I enjoy life, because it goes very fast.
“He was one of the funniest guys ever, so funny. Every time you had time with him you were laughing. Very clever as well, because he was a professor. You have to remember the happy things.”
On Being a Muslim in Manchester
“It’s a very difficult moment but you cannot give up. We can’t let them get in our heads — we have to fight for it.
“Sad things happen in life but you cannot stop living. You cannot kill a human being. To kill a human being… it’s something crazy, so I don’t want to put religion on it.
“This is not Islam and everybody knows that. I won’t be the only one saying that.”
On his Manchester Return
“I left Manchester to play. That’s all I wanted.
“But in my mind, I knew: ‘It’s not finished, I might come back.’
“My mum told me this: ‘You’ll come back one day.’ And here I am: having a haircut in Manchester.”