John Obi Mikel tips Manchester United player to win the Ballon d'Or

Published Add your comment

Football News

Paul Pogba's world-record £89 million arrival at Manchester United this summer has yet to be met with performances of a similar magnitude.

But while the Old Trafford faithful may be getting a little concerned with how the France international has underperformed, since his arrival from Juventus in the summer, there are certainly still plenty of admirers for the midfielder.

One of them is Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel. The Nigeria internationally fondly remembers the time he nutmegged the Frenchman at the 2014 World Cup. 


Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article:

But despite Pogba having yet to prove to Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho what he is truly capable of, Mikel has backed the 23-year-old to return to the form he displayed during his time in Serie A.

"I met Pogba after the game against France and he is a lovely guy," Mikel told Goal.

"He is a lovely human being. Today he is the world’s most expensive football player and he has worked hard since he left Man United and went to Juve. He had a great, great career back at Juventus."

It's been a whirlwind early part of Pogba's career to date; with the Frenchman having left Old Trafford after making only a handful of appearances - after graduating through the club's academy - for a new life in Italy, only to return a few years later.

Mikel backing Pogba

But it has been the Frenchman's performances in Serie A that have earned Pogba the title as one of the world's best young midfielders. And despite those types of performances yet to be replicated in Manchester, Mikel is backing the United man to, one day, win football's biggest personal accolade.

"Now, he is back at United and says that he is back where he belongs, that is his home. He looks like he missed Man United, the way he plays, the way he presents himself. I think he is a great talent who will one day win the Ballon d’Or."

It's a big compliment for the 23-year-old who is still readjusting to life back in England. But providing Pogba remains in favour with Mourinho for the seasons to come, few would bet against the Frenchman having the chance to dislodge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the dominant receivers of the award.

Great talent

"He is a great talent - it takes the whole team to stop such a player." Mikel said.

"He has improved quite a lot and become a much much better player. If we come across each other again, I hope can both have a great game and may the best man win."

Mikel and Pogba could meet again on Sunday, when Mourinho's United face his former club Chelsea, at Stamford Bridge. However, Mikel has yet to feature for Antonio Conte, since his arrival in the summer.

And the Nigeria international is wary that, one day, his midfield battle with Pogba may result in the Frenchman trying to get his own back.

Pogba was victim of an audacious backheeled nutmeg from Mikel in the last-16 of 2014 World Cup between France and Nigeria. However, the Frenchman's side ran out 2-0 winners, and he will hope he gets the right result again this weekend.

Can Paul Pogba live up to expectations at Manchester United? Have your say in the comment box below.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
John Obi Mikel
Premier League
Marcus Rashford
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again