Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba may not have the best of coach-player relationships, but Pogba says that they don’t have to.
Pogba stated that “a coach and a player don’t have to be best friends”, during an interview with Canal+.
Friction between the two has been a lingering storyline all season and things escalated a bit when Pogba was thrust into a cameo role at times, particularly in the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 defeat to Sevilla.
“There were times when I wasn’t playing, I was on the bench,” Pogba said. “People talked about it a lot. They thought things weren’t going well, but a coach and a player don’t have to be best friends. We don’t have to go to a restaurant together.
“I had some little niggles, too. … Football is all in the head. He put me on the bench, I respond on the pitch, I give my all every time.”
Pogba remained vague on his future.
“You’re never sure of anything, [but] contractually, it’s certain, yes,” Pogba replied when asked if he would be at United next season — he was more forthcoming when asked in a video message from Mario Balotelli whether Mourinho was “good” at United.
Pogba was asked to compare himself with the Man United boss.
“He’s just the same, he’s crazy,” said Pogba. “He’s crazier, because he can be. As a player, you can’t just do what you want.”
Despite the friction, Pogba admitted that he had improved under Mourinho.
“He has made me progress in terms of leadership,” Pogba said. “I had the captain’s armband with Mourinho. It’s the first time at a club. It’s important for me. It’s helped me grow to become a leader for the France team, too.”