Antoine Griezmann reveals how Paul Pogba reacts to Manchester United criticism
The outgoing Atletico Madrid forward has become close friends with Pogba from their time together in the France national team and backed the United star to win the Ballon d’Or one day.
It comes after Pogba endured a tough end to the season with United. He was involved in a public disagreement with supporters in the Stretford End after the final day defeat to Cardiff and has been regularly linked with a move away to Real Madrid.
Writing in his new book ‘Getting To The Top Of World Football’, Griezmann spoke effusively about Pogba and the pair’s close relationship.
“From the beginning, I had got on particularly well with Paul Pogba,” he said. “We were always together when we were with the national team.
He added: “We speak a lot during the season, we send each other photos via Snapchat.
“He, too, is very family orientated. He, too, likes to laugh and to set the mood.”
Griezmann then includes a staunch defence of Pogba, who he believes has been a lightning rod for critics during his time at United — despite finishing this season as the club’s top scorer with 16 goals in 2018/19.
Although Griezmann turned down a move to join his fellow countryman at United in 2017 — and is now expected to join Barcelona after revealing he will leave Atletico this summer — he sympathised with Pogba’s United plight.
“Paul is a great guy,” he added. “Because of his over-exposure in the media, his transfer fee and his spectacular style of play, everything he does is scrutinised.
“All the lights are trained on him. The press is very demanding with him, sometimes too harsh in my opinion.
“You can get the feeling that everything just slides off him, but it’s not the case.
“I suggested that he shouldn’t pay too much attention to what’s said about him and that he should just get his head down. He is such a hard worker, a remarkable player.
“And he’s someone who needs to feel loved. The media, even though they are doing their job, should encourage this more. People shouldn’t forget that he’s only young.
“He doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Paul has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or one day.”
Antoine Griezmann Getting To The Top Of World Football, published by Reach Sport, is on sale now at a special price of £9.99: READ MORE HERE