Atletico Madrid forward Antonie Griezmann has hailed the influence of midfielder Paul Pogba in the French dressing room during Les Blues’ glorious 2018 World Cup campaign.
Pogba quickly assumed a leadership role within the group, despite Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris holding the captaincy.
The Manchester United man was impressive on the pitch, too, including a goal in the 4-2 final victory against Croatia.
Videos emerged on social media soon after the final of Pogba delivering goosebump-inducing team talks to his fellow countrymen ahead of fixtures against Argentina and Croatia.
“Paul has really moved up a notch in the dressing room. He had the right words, which has pushed us,” Griezmann said, in conversation with French newspaper L’Equipe.
“Hugo [Lloris], Raph [Raphael Varane] and Blaise [Matuidi], we knew that they were there, but Paul, yes, we became more surprised and the way he spoke, it did us good.”
Griezmann, though, is one of Pogba’s best friends both in and out of football, and certainly one of his closest companions within the France camp.
The pair are often seen laughing together, on social media or TV. Griezmann admitted that he was surprised by Pogba’s ability to take control of the dressing room and be serious given his usual character.
“Every time he speaks, I want to laugh. Paul is so used to the funny, which is why it surprises me,” he said.
“It is for this reason that when he speaks, Paul never looked at me. He knows that I would have a small smile, due to which he can laugh at any time.”