French soccer star Paul Pogba is one of the youngest players in the World Cup, but at 21 he already has 3 international goals, including one against Nigeria last week in the Round of 16.
Throughout his fairly short time career, he has been on a number of clubs and has a pretty impressive fan base. “Il Polpo Paul” is definitely a player to watch.
Here’s what you need to know about him:
1. He Plays Professionally in Italy
Born in Lagny-sur-Marne, France, Paul Labile Pogba is favorite among soccer fans. He started playing soccer very early in life, he played for Le Havre when he was old enough before being transferred to Manchester United.
Not long after that first move, he left Manchester for Juventus, an Italian club for which he still plays.
2. He’s Young, But By No Means a Newbie
Pogba is one of the younger players in the World Cup, but his age says nothing about his experience. He’s been playing soccer since the age of 6, and has not stopped since. He has gone from team to team and from club to club, each time gaining more experience and skill.
Pogba was even given the Golden Boy award for best player under 21 in Europe 2013.
3. Fans Have Many Nicknames For Pogba
The most common nickname Paul Pogba hears from fans is ‘Il Polp Paul’ or ‘Paul the Octopus,’ because of his long legs. He is 6’2″, very tall, and most of his height is in his legs. Fans call him ‘Il Polpo Paul’ because his long legs remind them of an octopus’ tentacles.
Il Polpo Paul is his most common nickname, but there are others. Pogba noted that his Man United teammates called him Nelson Mandela because he stood up to former coach Sir Alex Ferguson. He told France Football:
I never disrespected Sir Alex Ferguson, if anything it is the opposite, because I said things to his face
4. Soccer Runs in The Family
Pogba is the son of Guinean and Congolese parents, and he has two older siblings named Mathias and Florentin. The other Pogba brothers are twins and they too have soccer careers, although not as successful as Paul’s.
Mathius Pogba plays for Crewe Alexandra as a forward. His twin brother, Florentin, plays for Saint-Etienne.
5. He and Alex Ferguson Didn’t Get Along
Pogba played on the UK’s Manchester United from 2009 until 2012, when he left abruptly after not signing a new contract. Ferguson, was livid and publicly blasted Pogba, claiming he was disrespectful.
Pogba came back with the same claim about Ferguson, saying that he would not allow Pogba to play and was rude to him when he decided to leave. Pogba told The Independent:
You have to play. The coach told me there would be space to play, but I wasn’t playing.