Paul Pogba's penalty run-up: When Man Utd star took longer than Usain Bolt's 100m record


Manchester United’s Paul Pogba is one of the most entertaining players in world football.

When the Frenchman is firing on all cylinders, he seems to float around the pitch with a swagger and nonchalance as if to remind everyone that he’s one of the finest operators in the sport.

Sadly, for whatever reason, we’ve never really been able to see the World Cup-winning best of Pogba on a regular basis since he returned to United from Juventus in 2016.

Pogba’s penalty technique

But even through the tougher moments when injuries and inconsistent form have taken over, you always got the feeling that he’s only ever a few minutes away from producing something gripping.

So, bearing that in mind, we couldn’t help thinking of Pogba’s brilliant eccentricity when footage of a Japanese High School player using a 35-second penalty run-up started doing the rounds.

And while Pogba never went that far with his spot-kick technique, there’s no escaping the fact that the United playmaker has produced some, well, slow run-ups from 12 yards in the past.

Slow run-up vs Everton in 2018

It’s not always the case when Pogba steps up to take a penalty, but there are more than a few examples in his United career where he’s adopted the shimmying and shuffling approach to the ball.

However, of all the lengthy run-ups that Pogba has produced in the famous red jersey, we’re inclined to think that none of them have been quite as extreme as his effort against Everton in 2018.

That’s because Pogba delivered a run-up that was so slow that it actually took longer for him to complete it than it took Usain Bolt to sprint the fastest 100-metre race in history nine years earlier.


Pogba vs Bolt

According to Sky Sports, Pogba’s penalty, which was duly saved by Jordan Pickford, saw him take no less than 9.96 seconds over the run-up whereas Bolt’s world record clocks in at 9.58 seconds.

And just in case you don’t believe us, the wonderful world that is YouTube has ensured that both videos can be compared to one another, so be sure to check out Pogba and Bolt racing below:

Brilliant stuff. It’s hard not to crack a smile.

Pogba explains the method

Now, obviously, power to Pogba for using whatever penalty technique that he’s most comfortable with and the man himself gave some level of insight into the approach in his post-match interview.

According to the Mirror, Pogba explained: “I was lucky with the penalty but most important is the goal went in it was good for us and for me. We had other chances but most important was the win.

“I always try to destabilise the keeper. I always shoot like this this is and that’s how I take penalties. I might practice to change because the keeper starts to know what I am going to do.”

So, sure, Pogba might take longer to cover a few yards for a penalty than Bolt does to sprint 100 metres, but if that’s what works for him, that’s what works for him. Well, excepted for when it doesn’t…



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