Football has always been remarkably kind towards World Cup winners. Despite being a team trophy, the World Cup appears to eclipse all individual accolades; its sheen comfortably putting all club honours to shame.
Playing a crucial role in a successful World Cup conquest outweighs seasons of mediocrity, keep the players at the top of the clubs’ wish list.
Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba, is one fine example of the World Cup illusion.
He was sensational in the 2018 World Cup, playing an immense role in France’s triumph.
His market value comfortably soared past the €100m mark, and Real Madrid were, once again, leading the race for his signature.
The Frenchman — who happens to be Zinedine Zidane’s absolute favourite — eventually decided to stay put at Manchester United, that year, but neither party agreed to conclude the saga.
Two years have passed since France’s glory in Russia. Paul Pogba, despite being astonishingly ordinary since March 2019, is currently rated at €80 million.
The price tag — considering the financial dismay the world is in right now — seems absolutely ludicrous for any player, let alone for a midfielder who’s been almost non-existent on the pitch over the last year and a half.
Yet, against all the odds, the flirting has begun, with the 27-year-old has made the vocal first move.
The lucrative prospect
Last season, Paul Pogba spent most of the year on the sidelines, tending to his ankle problems. The midfielder only managed 22 games across all competitions — 16 of those coming in the English Premier League.
In those 16 appearances, he hardly did enough to turn heads. There were some neat exchanges and a few goal involvements, but nothing to write home about.
While Manchester United struggled to take the fight to the table toppers, Real Madrid, led by the ever-so-magnificent Zinedine Zidane, bagged their 34th La Liga title, beating Barcelona to the punch.
Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde, and even Isco — the team, on paper, didn’t lack quality in central midfield. However, the spark of creativity was often short on supply.
Paul Pogba, who is an absolute steamroller on his day, has the quality to break into any team in the world — including Real Madrid. Still, despite the heavy-handed flirting and the explosive prospect, we don’t feel either party would benefit from a move next season.
The pipe dream
“Of course, every footballer would love to play for Real Madrid and would dream about that. It’s a dream of mine, so why not one day?”Pogba admitted at a news conference on Thursday.
The “confession” was immediately followed by a heartfelt love letter to Manchester United. However, conspiracy couldn’t help but think about the potential French reunion in Madrid.
We believe, the press conference — which took place amid a contract tussle between Paul Pogba and his employers — handed the Frenchman an opportunity to twist Manchester United’s arm at the expense of the most decorated club in history.
Real Madrid, who didn’t spend a dime in the summer transfer window, aren’t likely to go after a player who has a dodgy disciplinary record. Los Blancos, especially under Zinedine Zidane, value discipline and sacrifice ahead of everything else. And Paul Pogba, for all his qualities, isn’t the most sacrificial player you’d find.
If reports are to be believed, Los Merengues are gearing up to bring Kylian Mbappe and Eduardo Camavinga to the Spanish capital next season. The club sees the duo as two crucial pieces of the puzzle and will stop at nothing to tie them down.
As for the Paul Pogba-Real Madrid saga, we currently see only one possible outcome — the 27-year-old signing an extension and staying put at Old Trafford for at least two more seasons.