Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has praised Paul Pogba for the way he has matured as a player since joining Manchester United.
The Italian allowed Pogba to make a return to Manchester in 2016 for a then world record £89m fee after overseeing him develop superbly in Turin over four years.
And despite continued criticism of his performances in a Man United shirt, Pogba demonstrated his world class ability and ability to lead during France’s victorious World Cup campaign, scoring the winner in the final against Croatia.
Speaking on the subject of a potential return to Juventus for Pogba, Allegri waved away such a prospect and praised the Frenchman for how he has progressed over the last two seasons.
“As for the return of Pogba I can not say anything because he is a Manchester United player,” he said.
“I can only say I’m happy for having seen him grown up in an important competition like the World Cup. He played with great personality. Compared to the past, he matured a lot.”
You may have an agenda of sorts against Pogba but there is no denying one thing: that he is the heartbeat of his team – for both club and country.
When Pogba plays well, United play well. The same goes for Les Bleus, with whom he became not just a France legend but also an impassioned leader of the team over those four weeks.
You could see the 25-year-old grow with every game in Russia. Tournaments like these can serve as a watershed moment for top players; supporters will no doubt hope it was a sign of things to come.