Man United boss Mourinho hopes Pogba 'understands why' he was a star at the World Cup

Sport360 staff 09:35 19/07/2018
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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho thinks Paul Pogba was “absolutely brilliant” during France’s World Cup campaign and hopes the midfielder “understands why” he played at the level he did.

Pogba helped Les Bleus win the tournament in Russia, with the final seeing him score as Croatia were defeated 4-2 in Moscow.

Mourinho, who left the 25-year-old out of his first XI at times last season, spoke about Pogba on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

The Portuguese said: “To win the World Cup can only be a positive thing.

“I can only imagine that is only positive, is amazing, is fantastic. So many good players never had the chance to be world champions.

“For Paul, I think to be world champion can only be fantastic.

“I think the future for him in the French national team, amongst that fantastic group of players, can only be brilliant, and I hope that he understands why he was very good.”

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (L) talks with Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) after the second Tottenham goal goes in during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London, on January 31, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / IKIMAGES / Ian KINGTON / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Challenge: Mourinho is expecting the same level from Pogba for the Red Devils.

Mourinho was speaking on United’s pre-season tour.

He added, according to manutd.com: “I think that’s the point about his performance level and his contribution to a winning team – it’s for him to understand why he was so good, especially in the second part of the competition, quarter-finals, semi-finals, the final, where he was, in my opinion, absolutely brilliant.”

Also regarding the man he signed for £89million in the summer of 2016, Mourinho said: “I did with Paul what I did with all my players.

“I sent a nice message before the World Cup and during it I did not disturb anyone.

“They needed to focus on the job for their national team. After the World Cup I sent a different message than to the other guys because he won the competition.”

Mourinho said pre-season was not proving ideal in terms of the senior absentees.

He added: “Pre-season is very bad, I have to say that. It’s positive for the young boys that have the fantastic opportunity to train with us and know what it is to be a United player, the chance to play against fantastic players. And my coaching staff, with three new staff it’s good for them to adapt to my needs and start working in a new reality.”

While Pogba is having a post-World Cup break, Alexis Sanchez did not fly out with United for their United States tour at the weekend because of what the club said was a “personal administrative issue” which it was hoped would soon be resolved to allow him to join the party at a later date.

Sanchez was absent from the party which headed across the Atlantic on Sunday amid speculation that there was an issue with his visa after he accepted a 16-month suspended sentence in Spain over a tax issue.

🇫🇷 J’ai toujours pensé que gagner la Coupe du Monde me permettrait de réaliser mon rêve. Mais quand j’ai vu les espoirs et la joie de nos fantastiques supporters durant le tournoi, j’ai compris que ce rêve n’était pas le mien. Ce rêve était le NÔTRE et je devais jouer ma partition pour qu’il se réalise. Je ne suis qu’un maillon de la chaîne qui a permis de remporter cette nouvelle étoile ⭐, et je me sentirai toujours honoré d’avoir aidé à l’imprimer sur notre maillot ⭐🏆🙏🏾 . 🇬🇧I always thought wining the World Cup meant making my dream come true. But when I saw the hopes and joy of our wonderful supporters in the tournament I understood the dream was not mine. The dream was OURS and I had to do my part to make it happen. I am just a small piece of the much bigger story behind our new star ⭐, and I am forever blessed to see “her” added to our shirt ⭐🏆🙏🏾 @equipedefrance #fiersdetrebleus #worldcup2018 #worldcup #allezlesbleus

A post shared by Paul Labile Pogba (@paulpogba) on

Mourinho said of the Chilean on Wednesday: “It’s really bad and he’s really sad.

“It’s not good for him and not good for me, or for the team. There is no-one to blame. I know the club is making the effort but the US authorities have their processes.

“Hopefully, he can at least join us later because it is important to work with Juan Mata, Alexis and Anthony Martial, who we think are the players we have for the start of the season. There is no (Romelu) Lukaku, (Marcus) Rashford or (Jesse)

Lingard (all of whom were involved in the World Cup semi-finals).”

Mourinho also said full-back Diogo Dalot, signed last month from Porto, will be unavailable for the start of the season and that it is expected the injured Portugal Under-21 international will be “ready for September”.

He said: “Dalot is injured. We knew that but we didn’t want to lose him because of that. He is recovering really well.

“We think he can start training with the team when we go back to England. He is not going to be ready for the start of the season but we think he’ll be ready for September.”

David De Gea, Nemanja Matic and new signing Fred are set to join up with the squad next week. United face Club America in the opening fixture of the tour on Friday.

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