CLAIREFONTAINE-EN-YVELINES – Paul Pogba said on Wednesday he is “happy” at Manchester United, but that Real Madrid “is a dream club”.
Playing for Real “is a dream for every kid, for every football player,” the midfielder told a press conference at France’s training base.
“It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. I’ve always said Real Madrid is a dream club for every player,” the 26-year-old said.
The Spanish outfit recently reappointed another World Cup-winning French midfielder in Zinedine Zidane as head coach taking over from Santiago Solari.
United have also changed bosses this season, bringing in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to replace the sacked Jose Mourinho.
“At the moment, I’m happy in Manchester. I play. There’s a new coach,” he said.
Pogba, who was interviewed on British television earlier in the day, was asked again about his difficult relationship with Mourinho, and again attempted a sidestep.
“What was wrong? Bah, we did not win,” he said. “That’s why they changed coaches. It’s not necessary to go into details.
“If the results had been more positive, the coach would have stayed,” he added with a smile.
Meanwhile, “The present has arrived,” said Pogba, confirming he had given all his France teammates world champion rings modelled on those in many American sports.
“We handed them out to the players, the reaction was good, they thanked me,” Pogba told a press conference at France’s training centre.
“It’s a small gesture after winning a World Cup with great players. I consider them my family. It’s a small gift from me.”
Earlier on Wednesday, France midfielder Blaise Matuidi tweeted a photo showing him and Pogba holding the boxes containing the enormous rings.
“Unforgettable present for an unforgettable memory. Thanks from the bottom of my heart to the jeweller @paulpogba.” Matuidi wrote.
Pogba said he had already made a similar gesture when he left Juventus, where he won four straight Serie A titles, for Manchester United.
“I made a small gift to the players when I left,” he said.
“It was a small gesture to thank them for the trophies, because we do not play alone, we never win on our own,” he added.
Pogba hatched the plan with Antoine Griezmann, a fan of American basketball, where championship rings, which originated in baseball, are common.
“A World Cup you do not win it alone, the players were there behind me, they supported me” and despite “criticism”, the group remained “bonded”, Pogba said.
“A small gesture like that is nothing because a World Cup is for life. This ring you can lose, but the World Cup, you do not lose that,” he said.AFP