English Premier League

Paul Pogba’s first touch a thing of beauty as Manchester United ace stays cool for on-camera prank

  • Man United star pelted with footballs by teammate from long range while giving interview
  • But midfielder shows incredible skill to get the last laugh over training ground prankster
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 January, 2019, 2:41pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 January, 2019, 2:49pm

Even when he is under bombardment from footballs while being filmed for an interview, Paul Pogba is coolness personified.

After joining up with the rest of the Manchester United squad in Dubai for a warm-weather training camp, Pogba sat down to speak to the club’s in-house media channel MUTV at the side of the pitch on Wednesday.

Ashley Young then tried to embarrass his teammate mid-interview, with the time-worn training ground tradition of belting a football at someone when they’re on camera.

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You’ve usually only got two options – get the heck out of dodge, or get smacked by the ball as all your teammates roll around in fits of laughter.

“This one’s coming your way,” came the call from the MUTV interviewer, with Pogba interrupting his answer and looking to his left to see an incoming missile from Young, before quickly putting his hands up to shield himself from the ball.

Thankfully for Pogba, Young doesn’t quite have the deadly accuracy of Paul Scholes, who once hit Phil Neville on the back of the head from long range when Neville disappeared off into the bushes to relieve himself during a training session at Carrington.

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“That’s team captain Ashley Young trying to put him off,” the MUTV interviewer said.

“That’s not a surprise,” Pogba replied.

Pogba went back to giving his answer, before Young tried his luck again. This time, Pogba was having none of it.

“Heads up,” the cameraman warned, but Pogba, without even interrupting his answer, nonchalantly glanced sideways then controlled the ball and killed it dead with a left-footed back-heel, knocking it safely away out of harm’s way.

“That was close,” the interviewer said, laughing.

As for the actual interview, Pogba was clearly enjoying getting away from the freezing English weather – having been delayed by a few days to receive treatment on a leg injury caused by Jonjo Shelvey’s reckless challenge at Newcastle.

“To get some vitamin D, it’s always good,” he said. “It’s good for the head when you see the sun, and see the beach, it’s relaxing.

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“But we came here to work, it’s not a holiday. The training is intense and we’re preparing for a big game, so we need to be ready.”

United, and Pogba in particular, look revitalised under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has guided the club to five wins from five games since taking over from Jose Mourinho.

Pogba was voted United’s player of the month by fans, having looked a different player to the one who fell out with Mourinho during the Portuguese manager’s final 18 months in charge.

“We play to win, that’s how I grew up, and when you lose you accept it, but I’m still mad,” Pogba said.

“We’re a team that at the start of the season wasn’t the best. Having five wins in a row is always good for the head.

“We are Manchester United, that should be a basic thing for us. We know the Premier League is hard and we have a lot of games, those five games give us confidence.

“Mentally we are ready, we are strong, and for the rest of the season we just want to do the same.”