Paul Pogba’s comments on Cristiano Ronaldo sum up his failed Manchester United return – James Findlater

Paul Pogba is going anything but quietly as his Manchester United career ends in a fashion perhaps befitting of his time with the club.

Everyone knew Pogba was already well and truly out the door by the time his departure was finally made official at the start of the month. The moment he walked off the pitch after just 10 minutes at Anfield, he was no longer a United player.

Even as the fans’ opinions were already heavily weighted against him though, there were still some willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, arguing that this dysfunctional side was not the best place for his talent to be expressed. He’s now made sure to destroy any remaining credit he had at United with his self-indulgent documentary.

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‘Pogmentary’ is a major exercise in massaging the ego of Pogba. In it, everyone is blamed for his failure to live up to expectations at Old Trafford bar the main culprit – himself.

Even when speaking about the return of one of the greatest players of all time, his immediate thought is of how it will help him scale new heights in the game. Pogba speaks in the documentary about wanting to win the Ballon d’Or, and upon Cristiano Ronaldo making his way back to United, his thoughts immediately turn to the award.

“The first thing I thought, ‘how do you train with a Ballon d’Or winner?’,” Pogba said. “It’s a good challenge to see him train, what he does, what’s life like for a Ballon d’Or winner?”

It’s the ultimate irony then that, in a season which can only be classified as a disaster for United, the 37-year-old Ronaldo came out of it with his reputation enhanced. Meanwhile, Pogba is arguably further away from the Ballon d’Or than he ever has been.

If the midfielder was aiming to learn something from the way in which Ronaldo trains, then it certainly didn’t show on the pitch. You certainly can’t imagine the Portuguese getting the sort of reception that greeted Pogba in his final outing at Old Trafford – a game in which Ronaldo yet again had to dig his side out of a hole.

With their respective seasons, the two players showed precisely why Ronaldo has claimed the top individual prize in football on five occasions, and why it continues to evade Pogba. The former managed to stand out in a poor side that was lucky to claim a European place, while the latter continued to frustrate with his inconsistent showings.

Pogba’s thought process upon Ronaldo joining perhaps sums up why United fans never saw the talent they were continually reassured of. The 29-year-old seemingly believed he already had enough talent to be crowned the world’s best player, and that the arrival of one of the biggest names in football would surely be enough to finally propel him to the award.

Of course, it never broke out that way. Now he leaves Old Trafford loud but not proud, with that elusive Ballon d’Or still nothing more than a dream.



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