24 February 2018

Mourinho defended Pogba

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Jose Mourinho has again said criticism of Paul Pogba is motivated by envy but insisted the Manchester United midfielder "does not give an ass what people say."

Pogba, who returned to United from Juventus for a world-record fee in the summer, faced criticism after his performance in the 1-0 FA Cup quarterfinal defeat to Chelsea on Monday.

Mourinho, though, said after the game that the France international was "by far the best player on the pitch" and hit out at pundits, saying: "The specialists will say a lot about him and it comes from envy. They will never ever earn 10 percent of what he does."

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday to preview the Europa League clash with FC Rostov, Mourinho said: "I feel the world is losing balance. Envy coming to certain levels. I am scared for the next generation.

"It is not Paul's fault that he gets 10 times the money that some very good players get. It is not Paul's fault that some fans are in trouble and need every penny to survive.

"He needs respect, his family deserve respect. He comes from a working family with three boys so I am sure the mum and dad worked hard for many years.

"A kid that comes to Manchester as a teenager to fight for his career here and was not afraid to work for a better life. He reached the top of the world, nobody gave him anything.

"I am very happy with Paul. The club is very happy with Paul and I think the good thing is because of his personality he does not give an ass what people say."

United's defeat to Chelsea on Monday saw them reduced to 10 men when Ander Herrera was sent off in the first half, with Antonio Conte's side going on to show their dominance from that point on.

United were due to fly back to Manchester after the game but their flight was reportedly delayed, meaning they had to make a five-hour trip home by coach, with the squad not arriving back until 4 a.m. on Tuesday.

"We had two gifts. We thought one gift was enough," Mourinho said. "The first gift was to play Monday night, the second to play with 10 men and the third was to have a promenade on the M6.

"But we are professionals so the next morning we were here to train and today the same. At 12 p.m. they were here to train again, as the great professionals they are, with the great commitment they have and the fantastic group of boys that I work with."

2017.03.15 / 18:29
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