The animated opening sequence to episode five of his documentary series, The Pogmentary, depicts Paul Pogba reflecting upon all he has achieved in his life. The cartoon has him striding up a staircase and, once on the top step, flinging open heavy double doors embossed with the World Cup trophy and images of his children. Through the golden frame, he spies the summits of mountains he has yet to scale as his career enters his next phase.
He sprints forward, parting the clouds as he goes, and joyfully leaps over a chasm to be greeted by his family. There waits his wife, Zulay, with the couple’s two boys, the youngest clad in a onesie and the other clasping a football. His mother, Yeo Moriba, stands behind Zulay with Pogba’s twin older brothers Mathias and Florentin, Guinea internationals both, glowing with pride at her shoulder.
“No matter the challenge, my family will always be there,” narrates the France midfielder. “This family that I created, (and) the one that watched me grow up. This year I’ll need them.”
Pogba is referring to the 2021-22 season ahead, the last to be covered by his existing contract at Manchester United. Rumours of interest from Real Madrid and Juventus were swirling at the time the documentary was filmed, while United continued to imply they had not given up hope of convincing the Frenchman to stay.
And yet, while the player experienced plenty of frustrations over that last season at Old Trafford, he has been confronted by far more daunting challenges over the calendar year of 2022. This has been his annus horribilis, one wrecked on the pitch by injuries which have frustrated attempts to revive his reputation at new club Juventus and threaten his ability to help France defend their