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Pogba’s a World Cup winner: Ferdinand on criticism

Manchester, April 28 (IANS) Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has backed Paul Pogba in his public altercation with Graeme Souness, stressing that the former Liverpool captain has unfairly targeted his old friend who has won a World Cup with France in 2018.

Pogba has struggled with game time with just eight first-team appearances for United this season due to a nagging ankle injury.

The French midfielder underwent surgery in January. Football is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Souness has criticised Pogba throughout his second spell at Old Trafford, questioning his attitude and commitment.

When asked about Souness' comments during a sit-down for United's official podcast, Pogba admitted that he had never heard of the former Liverpool defender, who responded by saying: “The oldest thing in football comes to mind — put your medals on the table.”

Ferdinand added that Pogba's World Cup winners' medal is proof of his potential.

The ex-United centre-back said on The Beautiful Game Podcast as quoted by Goal: “He hasn't even played football this year! I don't know how his name is in people's mouths, he hasn't even played football.

“I don't understand it, like why are you chatting about Paul Pogba? He hasn't played really this season so he shouldn't be in the conversation.

“I don't understand. Yeah, he's a great player, huge profile, I understand all that. But he's being judged or made the villain in this season which he's played really no part in, so I don't get it.

“Obviously Graeme Souness made a statement about putting your medals on the table. Boy, listen, my man's got a World Cup winners' medal. Like, it's hard to chat to someone when they've got a World Cup.

“He won four Scudetti in Italy or something. He's won stuff. Listen, Graeme Souness was a great player and he's won a lot of stuff.

“Listen, my generation, and even worse for Graeme Souness and all the guys in that generation, they've got to understand that these guys don't look at them sometimes. They don't know who they are.

“For Paul Pogba to say he doesn't know who he is, or wouldn't know him as a footballer, I believe that. It's not disrespectful, he doesn't know him!

“As great a player as Souness was — he was a top player, one of the best, if you're talking about the best British midfielders we've ever produced, he's in the conversation — but Paul Pogba doesn't know him.

“Simple as that. And that's just a difference of generations. So I don't think it's disrespectful.”

–IANS

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