Florentin Pogba hopes to make younger brother Paul ‘buzz’ with losers’ rage when his St Etienne side face Man Utd in the Europa League.
The Europa League last-32 draw threw up a number of great ties, few more fascinating than that between the Pogba brothers.
Florentin is preparing to line-up against Paul, the world’s most expensive player, twice in the space of a week as St Etienne and United battle it out for progress from a “one-off” tie.
“I predicted it!” the 26-year-old St Etienne defender said ahead of Thursday’s first leg at Old Trafford.
“I was speaking to my brother during the draw and said: ‘Watch, we’re going to get Manchester United’.
“We were drawn first and they came out of the hat second. We had a laugh and said: ‘The day has come. We’re going to face each other on the pitch, rather than on our neighbourhood mini-pitch’.
“It’s incredible, a one-off, so we’re going to make the most of it.”
The brothers used to play with friends on the artificial pitches of Roissy-en-Brie in the Paris suburbs, before their careers took different paths as Paul went to Le Havre and Florentin headed to Celta Vigo.
The 26-year-old was joined in Spain by twin brother Mathias, who currently plies his trade for Sparta Rotterdam having spent time at Wrexham, Crewe, Pescara, Crawley and Partick.
“Who will my twin brother Mathias support? He will support his brothers,” Florentin told UEFA.com.
“These two games will be emotional and I hope we’ll take something positive from them.
“Even if United are a great club, anything is possible in football. The fact they’re better than us on paper doesn’t matter.”
St Etienne certainly look capable of making life tough for the Europa League favourites, even if they do boast the world’s most expensive player in their ranks.
“I’ve known how good he is since he was very young, but for him to be in the first team at such a big club is amazing,” Florentin added.
“In terms of being the world’s most expensive player, I think he has put that to one side because it’s more an issue for the media.
“He is not letting it bother him. He’s just playing his football, even though everything he does gets three or four times more attention, good or bad.
“He can handle all of that because of the mental strength he has had since his youth.
“He is quite irritable though, he doesn’t like to lose. His head starts buzzing when he loses. I learned to lose and I would say that you’re not losing but learning. But for him, when he loses, he goes mad.
“We’ll always be behind him. He knows what it’s like in our family. Whether he has a good game or a bad game, we’ll always be there for him.
“He can win all the trophies in the world, he’ll still be my little brother.”