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Jose Mourinho: Paul Pogba and his family deserve respect

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho believes that Paul Pogba and his family deserve greater levels of respect after the Frenchman was derided following his performance against Chelsea.

The Frenchman has been on the receiving end of criticism from all sectors of the footballing world for both his performances and off-pitch antics since arriving for a world record £89m fee over the summer.

He has, of course, demonstrated his enormous potential on a number of occasions at Old Trafford this season, but found himself singled out for derision following Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter final.

And Mourinho, speaking ahead of his side’s Europa League clash with FC Rostov, quickly leaped to the 23-year-old’s defence.

“I feel that the world is losing values and we all know that and envy is coming into certain levels that I am scared with,” he said. 

“It is not Paul’s fault that he gets ten times the money that some very good players get. It is not Paul’s fault that some fans are in trouble and need every penny to survive. He needs respect, his family deserve respect.

“He comes form a working family with three boys so I am sure the Mum and Dad worked hard for many years. A kid that comes to me as a teen to fight for his career here and was not afraid to work for a better life.

“I am very happy with Paul. The club is very happy with Paul and I think the good thing is because of his personality he does not listen to what people say.”

Wouldn’t it be incredible to live in a world where the tale of Pogba, as opposed to being universally scrutinised, was admired by the global footballing audience? Isn’t there something about his story that should, at least in theory, prompt widespread admiration?

Think about it: Pogba decided to leave Man United as a teenager because he believed – or indeed knew – that he was ready to succeed at the highest level, and so he went to Juventus and claimed four major honours, whilst also featuring in a Champions League and European Championship final, before coming back to Old Trafford, his home, as the most expensive player in the history of the game, and indeed as the most topical player of this season.

It is, as Mourinho notes, scary to see outsiders greet this mesmerising figure with nothing more than a sneer, always pointing out pointless activities such as what he decides to post on Instagram and using it as a tool for lampooning the Frenchman. Then again, this is just our modern human nature – to denounce, as opposed to support, at the sight of somebody living their dream.

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