No Vieira role in move to Juve - Pogba
Published : 21 Oct 2012 15:17:27
Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has denied suggestions that fellow Frenchman Patrick Vieira played a role in his departure from the Premier League giants.
Pogba scored a stunning maiden goal for Juventus in a 2-0 win over Napoli on Saturday after coming on as a second-half substitute, helping the champions to their seventh win in eight games and opening up a three-point lead on Napoli.
It has boosted 19-year-old Pogba's chances of following in the footsteps of compatriots Michel Platini, Zinedine Zindane and Vieira, who all played starring roles in the Turin side.
Although Vieira spent the bulk of his Premier League with Arsenal he is now Football Development Executive at United's rivals Manchester City.
However Pogba has denied suggestions Vieria had any role in his move to Juve on a four-year contract in August.
"No, no I've never spoken to him (Vieira) about that," he told reporters after the game. "I just saw him at a Manchester City game but we didn't speak about transfers. We basically just said hello."
Pogba's sudden departure from United is said to have angered the club's manager Alex Ferguson, who over a year ago admitted he felt compelled to give the French ace his opportunity.
"I mean if we hold Pogba back, what's going to happen? He's going to leave," Ferguson said ahead of the 2011-2012 season.
Pogba made only three appearances for United before being tempted by Juve's offer and subsequent signing of a four-year deal in August.
But if Ferguson remains vexed, he would do well to remember Pogba's path to England.
When United signed Pogba to their youth academy from Le Havre in July 2009 the French side appealed to FIFA over the breach of the "non-solicitation agreement" they had with the player until the end of the 2009-10 season.
Pogba's former amateur club Torcy, however, then criticised Le Havre by claiming they had acted in similar fashion when they signed the player in 2007.
Pogba, meanwhile, is now in the position of honing his skills as understudy to one of the world's best midfielders in Andrea Pirlo, whom he has replaced in several matches so far this season.
It was for Vidal, however, that Pogba came on for Saturday -- and with devastating effect, pouncing on a bad clearance to beat Napoli keeper Morgan De Sanctis with a volley from over 20 metres.
Pogba on Sunday woke up to a front page picture of himself on Italy's bigest selling newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport, but said he's only getting started.
"I have confidence in myself and if I signed here it's for a reason," Pogba said after the match.
"If the coach puts me on the pitch it means he trusts me, so it's up to me to show him that I've deserve my chance.
"I'm very happy to have scored, very proud as well but I hope I will go on to score more goals," added Pogba, who sports two yellow stripes in a haircut similar to the 'Mohican' cut of City striker Mario Balotelli.
Pogba explained: "When people see me they say I look like Balotelli, now they will say 'that's not Balotelli, it's someone else'. I wanted to have my own style."