Paul Pogba has hit back at critics who have questioned his style of play and off the field actions, arguing it would be no different than slamming Lionel Messi for “walking” on the pitch.
The Manchester United midfielder has starred for club and country in the past, starting both the 2015 Champions League final for Juventus the Euro 2016 final for France, though both matches ended in defeat for Pogba.
However since his record move to the Red Devils in the summer of 2016, Pogba has come under fire for everything from his social media accounts to his choice of hair color , while also appearing to clash with manager Jose Mourinho.
Now ahead of the 2018 World Cup, where France are one of the per-tournament favorites, Pogba has defended his style and flair, arguing not only has he done the same things during his periods of success, but also likening it to someone criticizing Messi for not appearing to run enough on the field.
“I’ve always been like that,” Pogba told France Football . “When I’ve won, I’ve won being like that. That’s my style of play.
“You’re not going to criticize Messi when he walks on the park. If he scores three goals are you going to say: ‘Ah but he’s walking on the pitch?’ No. You can’t tell me how to play.
“If I’m here today, it’s as I am. No one has told me how I must behave. That’s my football, that’s all.
“People can like it or not. Do I need this to be loved? Do I need people to judge me differently? Or do they talk better about me?”
Pogba also dismissed concerns over his perception, saying he chooses not to focus on the opinions of others, so long as he is doing what he enjoys and has the support of those close to him.
“I’m not going to live on what people think, for them to say that I’m nice, good, the best, perfect. Everyone has their opinion. And I respect that.
“I play football, I do what I like. My relatives support me, they’re more important.
“We can’t love everyone and be loved by everyone. That would be perfection and nothing is perfect in this world.
“I’m not going to be offended if someone says: ‘I don’t love you.’ That’s your right. You don’t have to love me.”
Pogba and France kick off their World Cup play June 16 against Australia in Group C. They then face off against Peru on June 21 and close out group stage play on June 26 against Denmark.