Paul Pogba, World Cup winner.
That’s something his critics will never be able to take away from him.
The Manchester United midfielder helped France become world champions for the second time on Sunday as Les Bleus defeated Croatia 4-2 in Russia.
Pogba was one of a number of players in Didier Deschamps’ squad who shone at the tournament.
Pogba excelled alongside N’Golo Kante at the heart of France’s midfield and Man United supporters are desperately hoping he carries his form into the new season.
But it wasn’t just on the pitch where Pogba flourished.
The 25-year-old emerged as a true leader inside the dressing room, and footage of him delivering a team-talk before France’s 2-0 win over Uruguay in the quarter-final highlights this.
Pogba's team-talk v Uruguay
“It's done. There's no turning back. It's done,” Pogba tells him teammates. “We're going to continue. We're going to go 'till the end. We will meet on the 15th of July.”
Check out the video, as well as a full translation, below.
It’s impressive to see.
Pogba, just like Romelu Lukaku for Belgium, was a vocal leader despite not wearing the captain’s armband for his country.
He would say to his teammates before the final: “We are 90 minutes away from realising our dream, we are 90 minutes from entering into history books for life, and we were 90 minutes away from making France rock.”
It feels like a coming-of-age tournament for Pogba.
He knew exactly when to keep it serious - and waited until after France won the World Cup to make jokes by poking fun at England.
Many of Pogba’s critics wanted him to wait until after he had achieved something in the game to have fun.
Roy Keane was among those, but the Irishman admitted that Pogba can “have a dance” and “do whatever the hell he wants with his hair” now that he’s a world champion.
Pogba will now celebrate and recover from an exhausting year before returning for another season at Man United.