Paul Pogba has once again shattered perceptions about his off-field personality with a rousing half-time dressing room speech.
Pogba was captured demanding more aggression from his teammates, after a drab scoreless first half in the Nations League final saw his France side dominated by Spain.
An enthralling final half hour of the match saw France come from a goal down to win 2-1 and become the second ever winners of the new international tournament.
The Manchester United midfielder has often been heavily criticised by the punditry duo of Roy Keane and Graeme Souness for his lack of leadership, but dressing footage while on international duty has again proved that standpoint to be incorrect.
Pobga was captured inspiring his France teammates before their 2018 World Cup win, and has again been seen taking control in the dressing room to help clinch more silverware.
After manager Didier Deschamps finished his half-time speech, Pogba took over, saying: “We have to be aggressive!
“It starts from the front all the way to the back. We win the ball back and we attack! And yes, we’re going to run a lot because they have quality players, but so do we.
“We have to keep the ball and hurt them. In the second half we have to be aggressive.”
Paul Pogba’s leadership skills were on show at half-time in the Nations League Final 🇫🇷💪
— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) October 12, 2021
Pogba snapped into a challenge as soon as the second 45 minutes began, receiving a yellow card, but setting the tone for a half which saw France out-battle an impressive Spain side.
The 28-year-old midfielder has now won as many trophies with France as he has with Manchester United, seeing the £89million club record signing regularly criticised.
Sky Sports pundit Keane is often disappointed with the Frenchman, have previously said: “I think when he’s with United, he maybe doesn’t take responsibility.
“Maybe there’s too much responsibility or maybe there’s not enough players around him who can take responsibility.
“I know with France he is sharing this kind of responsibility with other players around. Maybe in Manchester [he is] isolated too much and maybe this is why he is feeling more pressure.
“Obviously there is a difference between the Pogba we know with France and the one we know at United.”
Fellow pundit Souness has also regularly laid into Pogba, with the Liverpool legend refusing to compliment the midfielder when he registered four assists in United’s opening day demolition of Leeds.
But this isn’t the first time Pogba’s leadership qualities have been put on show, with a speech before France’s 2018 World Cup win stirring emotions.
Pogba told his international teammates: “Boys, I don’t want to talk too much, we all know where we are, we all know what we want, we know how far we have come.
“We know it in our hearts, in our eyes. I can see it boys, we are concentrated. We cannot forget. Maybe I am repeating myself.
“We are 90 minutes away from possibly making history. 90 minutes. One match. One match.
“I don’t know how many matches we have played in our careers but this is one match that changes everything. That changes all of history.
“There are two teams, there is one trophy. For them it is the same, they want it. We know we lost a final. We know it. We feel it in our hearts. It’s still in our heads. Today we are not going to let another team take what is ours.
“Tonight I want us to be in the memory of all the French people who are watching us. Their children, their children’s children, and their children’s children’s children. I want us to go onto the pitch as warriors, as leaders.”
France took apart finalists Croatia in the resulting 90 minutes, with Pogba even getting on the scoresheet during the 4-2 win.
Let’s see if this latest display of leadership is finally enough for Keane and Souness will change their minds about the Man United star…
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