This evening Paul Pogba received the 2013 Golden Boy award for best European youth player, as identified by journalists belonging to thirty different newspapers spread all over Europe. Pogba succeeds Isco, and other superstars like Rooney, Messi, Fabregas and Aguero.
In an interview that appears on today’s Tuttosport Pogba revealed “I’m very proud because it’s an important recognition that has marked the career of phenomenal players. I want to win it all: domestic league, Champions League, and a World Cup with France”.
Pogba was quite generous in his dedication: “this award is dedicated to my entire nuclear family, to my teammates, to the club, to my fans, and obviously to my agent Mino Raiola”, who is rumoured to have secured Pogba a generous contract renewal. But the player of Guyanese roots admits: “I must remain focused on my season. I don’t think about the contract renewal but to win something important again”.
After the conferral of the award, Pogba grants journalists a question and answer session (as published on www.tuttojuve.com):
Children dream to become a superstars. How does it feel to win a recognition such as this, to be considered the best under 21 player in Europe?
“I’m really proud. When I think back, I was a child like them and my sole dream was to become a great footballer and win. Now that I have received this recognition, I want to win the Ballon d’Or. However, I know that there is a lot of work ahead of me and I have to do everything that’s required to achieve that objective.
Did you think about practicing other sports given your height?
“I had a growth spurt later in life, when I was playing for Manchester United. At any rate, I have always and only dreamed of becoming a footballer”.
You continue the legacy of the colony of Frenchmen that have worn the black-and-white?
“It feels great to be a Juventus player. When I go to practice, I feel at home… because it’s just as cold [laughs]”
Is there something you feel you need to improve on?
“Everything. When I look at a player like Pirlo I think to myself ‘I must improve every aspect’: tactically, technically. I want to follow in his footsteps”.
Are you, Pirlo, Vidal and Marchisio Europe’s strongest midfield?
“Perhaps it’s inappropriate to say this. I don’t know. They are all very strong players: playing with them makes me improve”.
Juventini want to win the Champions League. What’s missing for Juventus to win it? Is this the year?
“We must be patient. Champions League performance depends on the roster’s physical and mental condition”.
Is Tevez as good as he seems to be from the stands?
“Oh yes, he’s a world-class player. I really like him as a person too. He’s really funny, and tranquil”.
Do you wreak havoc in the Juventus change room?
“Yes, I dance [smiles]”.
In a few days there will be the World Cup draw. Which team would you like to avoid?
“To me, after winning the Under 20 World Cup, playing in the World Cup is absolutely amazing and beautiful. I haven’t given much thought to which team I would like to avoid, let’s wait and see”.
To whom would you give the Ballon d’Or?
“To Andrea Pirlo”.