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Paul Pogba: “I want to be like Lampard, but better”

April 29, 2016

Paul Pogba says he wants to improve as a player and aims to “be like Lampard, but better”.

In a lengthy interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Pogba talks about his aims for the future, the upcoming Euro’s and his own unique style of play.

“If Messi scores, does that make him selfish? No, being strong lets you help the team. Take Cristiano Ronaldo. He sets himself some incredibly high objectives, he’s ambitious, he wants to beat every record, he wants the Ballon D’Or. That’s not selfishness.” Pogba told the Italian daily.

“Sometimes I play well, and sometimes I don’t. That’s why I get angry. I hate making mistakes. I made even more mistakes back when I played in the street, and I used to react exactly the same way. Improving, and reducing mistakes – that’s what I call experience.

“I’ve only won four Scudetti. They’re not enough for me. I’ve always been like this, people called me crazy but I want to make history and become the strongest midfielder ever.

“I’d like to surpass Lampard. I want to be the midfielder who can do everything, and at the highest levels. Shooting, dribbling, scoring, defending. I want to be like Lampard, but better.

“As for money, I know it comes and goes. I’d be lying if I said it makes no difference not having it, but I see it as a consequence of hard work. The stronger you are, the more you make. Ronaldo deserves the pay he gets, it’s not like he steals it.

“As for my future, I want to beat Carpi, then I want the Coppa Italia, and then Euro 2016 in France. After that, I have a contract with Juventus, I can’t just get up one morning and take a plane to England. Ask the people who work in the transfer department.”

Pogba was quizzed on the various competitions he’s taken part in, from the Champions League to Serie A.

“Four years ago, when we drew Bayern, we thought it was over. This year we thought we could beat them.

“The Italian championship is the hardest, it’s all tactics and you have no space at all. In Europe they allow you time to play, although the winners are those with the best defence, like Atletico Madrid.

“As for the Euros, I don’t feel the pressure of playing at home. Football is instinct, Messi is instinct, and I play by instinct. If I see an opening, I go for it, without thinking.

“I want to become a legend, like Pele or Maradona. Or more than them. I’m not trying to say that I’m the strongest, only that I want to be.

“I have a problem: I hate to lose. And I like to be different, I want to do what nobody else has done. I work hard because I aim to become perfect and because it makes me happy when I win.

“If people want to criticise me, I let that be. The evidence paints a different picture though. In 2014 I wasn’t in FIFA’s top 11, but now I am, and I’ll be there in 2016.

“I may not be among the most beloved players, but that’s not my target. I’m working to be the best. I’m proud, but I’m not jealous or envious. If [Hugo] Lloris is the most popular, then I’m pleased for him.

“You can always do better. Michael Jordan admitted he made a lot of mistakes, didn’t he? What matters is to go beyond. Earlier in the season I wasn’t playing at my level, I must admit that, but then the team wasn’t either. Now I’m feeling better, and I feel like I helped Juventus give their best.”

Pogba was given the 10 shirt this season, an important club shirt worn by greats like Alessandro Del Piero.

“It’s a number. An important one, especially at Juve, but ultimately just a number. Once I added +5 on the shirt, but it was just a random thought of the day, there was no meaning behind it.

“In football there’s no such thing as growing old, you just get experienced. I’m young, but I’ve already collected experience. In any case I always give it my all, because what matters most is the team. Everything I do, I do it to help the team.”

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