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Mourinho and I don’t have to be best friends: Pogba

Manchester, May 21: France midfielder Paul Pogba on Monday said it is not necessary for his club Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho to be friends with him.

“There were times when I wasn’t playing, I was on the bench,” Pogba was quoted as saying by French cable television channel Canal+.

“People talked about it a lot. They thought things weren’t going well, but a coach and a player don’t have to be best friends. We don’t have to go to a restaurant together,” he added.

There was a lot of talk throughout the 2017-18 season that Pogba and Mourinho were at loggerheads with the former getting dropped now and then.

“I had some little niggles, too. … Football is all in the head. He put me on the bench, I respond on the pitch, I give my all every time.”

On his future with the club, Pogba said, “You’re never sure of anything, (but) contractually, it’s certain, yes.”
“He’s just the same, he’s crazy,” said Pogba, who was then asked to compare himself with Mourinho. “He’s crazier, because he can be. As a player, you can’t just do what you want.”

In the two seasons the pair have been together in Manchester, Pogba acknowledged he had improved under Mourinho.

“He has made me progress in terms of leadership,” he said. “I had the captain’s armband with Mourinho. It’s the first time at a club. It’s important for me. It’s helped me grow to become a leader for the France team, too.” IANS

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Ankur Kalita