In Brief

Ballon d’Or: Pogba hopes Griezmann, Mbappe or Varane wins

French midfielder takes ‘fresh swipe’ at Man Utd boss Mourinho

Paul Pogba has said he doesn’t deserve to win the 2018 Ballon d’Or award and hopes a fellow French World Cup winner will scoop the accolade.

The Manchester United midfielder was among the 30 players shortlisted for the prestigious award on Monday, along with six of his compatriots, but Pogba believes he shouldn’t be regarded as one of the favourites.

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made the list, as did Paris Saint-Germain sensation Kylian Mbappe, Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Real Madrid pair Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema.

Asked who he would like to see claim the award at December’s ceremony in Paris, Pogba replied: “Whether it’s Grizou [Griezmann], Kylian [Mbappe] or Raph [Varane], they deserve it much more than me.

“I cannot designate one. But I hope with all my heart that this is one of the three… that’s all I hope for anyway, because there are many who deserve it. I do not put myself in.”

Pogba has another pop at Jose

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror reports that Pogba has taken a “fresh swipe” at Jose Mourinho over the Manchester United captaincy furore.

The Frenchman was stripped of the vice-captaincy last month, sparking claims that his relationship with the Portuguese manager was irreparable.

Currently with the France squad preparing to play Iceland tomorrow evening, Pogba addressed the possibility of one day leading his country.

“I’ve never played in the France team to be captain, being here is already a big thing for me,” he said, in what the Mirror views as a veiled dig at the Special One.

“You don’t have to be captain in order to speak, a leader is not someone who has the armband. As a leader you can talk on the pitch, but I’ve seen leaders who didn’t necessarily talk.” 

Go-between

Pogba added that he was of an age where he could act as a go-between for France coach Didier Deschamps in a squad containing young and old players.

“With my age, 25 years old, I’m between the two sets of players, the oldest and the youngest,” he explained. “That allows me to relay messages and have the chance to be heard.”

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