Paul Pogba is on the path to becoming one of football’s best players.
The mercurial Frenchman has it all: power, pace, skill and exquisite technique. He has been on an upward trajectory ever since he arrived at Juventus in 2012 and appears destined to land at one of Europe’s elite three - Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich - one day.
Pogba is in high-demand after winning his fourth Serie A title and La Repubblica secured an interview with the 23-year-old, in which he discussed why he gets angry, what drives him to succeed and his future.
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The former Manchester United midfielder also named the one midfielder he would like to emulate.
Given that he played alongside Andrea Pirlo at Juve, it would have been easy for Pogba to say the Italian’s name. Pirlo has, after all, won it all, including the World Cup and Champions League.
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But Pogba and Pirlo share differing play styles. Instead, the France international went with Chelsea legend Frank Lampard.
Pogba is quite possibly the closest thing Europe has seen since Lampard played at Stamford Bridge. A box-to-box midfielder with a tendency to score goals, Lampard is a realistic idol for Pogba.
“I'd like to surpass Lampard,” he said, per Football Italia. “I want to be the midfielder who can do everything, and at the highest levels. Shooting, dribbling, scoring, defending. I want to be like Lampard, but better.”
He sure has a long way to go. The former England international, currently playing for New York City in the MLS, scored 211 goals in 649 appearances for Chelsea, winning three Premier League titles, the Champions League and the Europa League.
Lampard perhaps didn’t receive the credit he deserved on the European stage - his biggest accolade was being included in the FIFPro World XI in 2005 - but he will go down as one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players.
Earlier this year, Jose Mourinho ranked Lampard as the best Premier League player for an entire decade. High praise indeed.
Pogba is his own worst critic
Pogba continued by giving a detailed insight into his attitude. The young midfielder has the world at his feet but admits to being his own worst critic.
“Sometimes I play well, and sometimes I don't. That's why I get angry. I hate making mistakes. I made even more mistakes back when I played in the street, and I used to react exactly the same way. Improving, and reducing mistakes – that's what I call experience.
“I've only won four Scudetti. They're not enough for me. I've always been like this, people called me crazy but I want to make history and become the strongest midfielder ever.
“As for money, I know it comes and goes. I'd be lying if I said it makes no difference not having it, but I see it as a consequence of hard work. The stronger you are, the more you make. Ronaldo deserves the pay he gets, it's not like he steals it.”