Paul Pogba has slammed Jose Mourinho for “going against the players” during his spell as Manchester United manager in a scathing attack on his former boss.
The France World Cup winner was taken back to Old Trafford in a world record transfer by Mourinho in 2016 and had a strong working relationship. However, things turned sour when Pogba was publically stripped of the Red Devils vice-captaincy in 2018.
Mourinho then denied rumours of a rift between the pair, although Pogba was often singled out for criticism during a tough period at the club.
And now the former Juventus star has opened up on that turbulent spell. He also pointed out what has changed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“What I have now with Ole is different, he wouldn’t go against the players,” Pogba told Sky Sports . “He wouldn’t go against the players.
“Maybe Ole wouldn’t pick them, but it’s not like he puts them on the side like they don’t exist anymore. That’s the difference between Mourinho and Ole.
“Once I had a great relationship with Mourinho, everybody saw that, and the next day you don’t know what happened. That’s the strange thing I had with Mourinho and I cannot explain to you because even I don’t know. So, yeah.”
Pogba was a pivotal player in Mourinho’s side which won several major honours, including the Europa League in 2017.
It was after winning the World Cup in 2018 that Pogba began to be linked with a move to Barcelona. At that time he reportedly told Mourinho he wanted to leave.
Pogba, Mourinho relationship hits rock bottom
The Portuguese responded by removing him as the club’s “second captain”. Training ground footage also showed an apparently hostile exchange between the pair.
“Manchester United is bigger than anyone and I have to defend that,” Mourinho said at the time. However, he played down any suggestions of hostility between him and Pogba, insisting “it’s just a relation player-manager, it’s good.”
Pogba was then dropped from the team, with Mourinho allegedly referring to him as a “virus” in front of his teammates in the dressing room.
But in the end it was the manager that lost the power struggled as Mourinho was sacked. As for Pogba he is now thriving under Solskjaer.
After a 6-1 humbling at Old Trafford earlier in the season, United and Pogba had revenge on Mourinho on Sunday.
And after the game Pogba could not resist taking a swipe at his old boss.
He said: “We won the game, he lost the game and he doesn’t want to speak about the game, he wants to speak about the dad of someone, that’s what he does,” Pogba added. “Everybody knows him, it’s very Mourinho.”