Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba has admitted that he started experiencing depression during the era of Jose Mourinho at the club.
Recall that Jose Mourinho coached Manchester United between 2016 and 2018. The 59-year-old Portuguese tactician helped the club to win one EFL Cup, one FA Community Shield, and one Europa League before he was sacked in 2018.
One of the things that dominated Jose Mourinho’s era at the Premier League club was the issue of picking fights with some of his players and making some of them the black sheep.
During his era, the Portuguese coach agreed to bring Paul Pogba back to Manchester United from Juventus on August 9, 2016, for a transfer fee worth €105 million.
Recall that Pogba is a product of the Manchester United youth system. He stayed in the club’s reserve team between 2011 and 2012 before he agreed to join Juventus on a free transfer.
While at the Italian club, the 29-year-old French player shone like a million star and wowed Manchester United so much that they had to break the Premier League transfer record by paying Juventus €105 million.
Before he left the Italian club for Manchester United, the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner scored 34 goals and provided 40 assists in 178 games in all competitions.
Even though Pogba was Manchester United’s most expensive player, Jose Mourinho treated him like he did not believe in the ability of the player.
In the two years under Jose Mourinho, Pogba played a total number of 108 games in which he scored 20 goals and provided 22 assists.
Despite his effort under Mourinho, Pogba and the Portuguese tactician had a series of clashes which almost slid the footballer into depression.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Paul Pogba who is currently on international duty with France national team said he has experienced depression severely during his football career.
The 29-year-old Frenchman said one of the symptoms of depression is the desire to be left alone, adding that though footballers earn so much money, that does not make them immune to depression.
“I have been through it, but we don’t talk about it”, Pogba said. “Sometimes you don’t even know you have depression, you just want to be isolated, to be all alone, these are the unmistakable signs.
“From a personal perspective, that started when I was with Jose Mourinho at Manchester.
“You ask yourself if there is something wrong with you because you have never experienced these moments in your life.
“Of course, we earn a lot of money and we don’t complain. But that does not prevent you from going through these moments in your life – like the whole world – which are more difficult than others.
“In football, it is not acceptable but we are not superheroes, we are only human beings.”
Patrice Evra is the confidant of Paul Pogba
In the interview with Le Figaro, Paul Pogba whose contract with Manchester United will expire on June 30, 2022, said whenever he is going through a tough time, he always confides in former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
Patrice Evra who is now a pundit and a coach in training played for Manchester United from 2006 to 2014. The 40-year-old Frenchman played for France national team between 2004 and 2016.
Aside from Evra, Paul Pogba said he could also confide in his wife Zulay Pogba and his 3-year-old son, Labile Shakur.
“I don’t want it to be the case that these negative moments make me forget all my achievements,” he said.
“But it isn’t necessarily easy and when I can’t manage by myself, I talk a lot with Tonton Pat [Evra] – former players who have experienced it, because they will understand immediately.
“My psychiatrist can be my best friend, my wife, or my son. To speak, to be listened to, to get out all of this rage and this depression that is gnawing at you is obligatory for me.”
So far this season, Pogba who could leave Manchester United as a free agent this summer has scored a goal and provided 9 assists in 23 games in all competitions for Manchester United.
🗣️ "For me, it's not a question if a player has an expiring contract. The question is how much does he still want to be a part of this group?"— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 19, 2022
Ralf Rangnick says Paul Pogba will be determined to return to form for #MUFC, even if his motivation is to earn a new deal elsewhere. pic.twitter.com/yB8BFbzEdt