From World Cup Stardom To Being Banned Altogether - What Happened To Paul Pogba?

From World Cup Stardom To Being Banned Altogether - What Happened To Paul Pogba?

02/03/24 06:52

From World Cup Stardom To Being Banned Altogether - What Happened To Paul Pogba?

Arguably, Paul Pogba is one of the best midfielders of the modern day. At times he put on performances that blew football fans away. His ability was unmatched. He has pace, power, a personality like no other and so much more. He was destined for stardom.

Now though, Pogba is facing a four year ban from football for doping offences. And it seems as though his career might be over. All in an instant.

But how has he got here? What is his story? And why is this, quite possibly, the biggest career downfall in modern day football?

Born on the 15th March 1993 in Lagny-sur-Marne, France, Pogba began playing football from a very early age. He would join a local team before eventually joining the Le Havre youth academy.

Le Havre has a rich history of developing young stars. Pogba included. Riyad Mahrez, Steve Mandanda, Dimitri Payet the list goes on. However, Pogba was different to many of these players.

A lot of players spend a long time with a team developing however Pogba was different. He would go on to spend just a few years at the club before a certain English giant came knocking. Manchester United. How could Pogba say no?

Pogba joined the Red Devils in 2009 and would be promoted to the first team just two years later. Following a victory in the FA Youth Cup Final in 2011 - alongside other talents such as Jesse Lingard and Ravel Morrison.

He would eventually make his debut in the 2011-12 season. Coming off the bench against Stoke City in January 2012. However with his contract coming to an end at United Pogba had a big choice to make. Would he stay and fight for his place at United or move on and get game time elsewhere?

Pogba joined Juventus in 2012. And arguably this is where he made a name for himself. And started to become a global superstar.

He was a name on everyone's lips. Dominating in the Serie A and establishing himself as a key player. He would help lead Juventus to four consecutive Serie A titles as well as a Champions League final in 2015. The praise for Pogba on a worldwide scale didn't stop there. In 2015 he was so good that he was even named in the UEFA Team of the Year. An incredible achievement especially for a then 22 year old.

In 2016, Pogba would make another transfer. This time back to Old Trafford. A transfer that would be, at the time, a World record transfer fee of €105 million. A fee that is still Manchester United's record transfer to this day.

When he signed Jose Mourinho, manager at the time, described that Pogba would be “at the heart of this club Manchester United for the next decade and beyond.” A lot of praise from one of the all time great managers for Pogba.

But the fee put a lot of pressure on Pogba to succeed at the club. That led to a lot of criticism being placed on him for an apparent lack of effort and a lot of inconsistent performances. The hype around Pogba was fading.

Though inconsistent at times it's hard to look past the moments of quality he did produce at Manchester United. In particular one coming in an iconic Manchester Derby in which United came back from two goals down to beat City 3-2. Pogba with a second half brace. An incredible performance.

Pogba's ability was often questioned at United due to his performances being very 50/50. Questions of whether he would actually “turn up” would happen all the time. However he did show his quality a lot for France on an international level. Often leading to more confusion as to why he wasn't turning up playing at club level. The pinnacle of his career came in 2018 for France when he helped guide them to a World Cup victory.

His performances during the 2018 World Cup were simply incredible. He was often the key difference maker. Showing off his ability at every given moment. And his top performances, as mentioned, would help guide France to victory in the final against Croatia. A game where Pogba scored and got himself man of the match.

At club level, Pogba remained at Manchester United for a couple more years. That period being very similar to his entire United career. Ups and downs. Some good performances. Some more questionable performances. At the end of the 2021-22 season though, Pogba would announce that he would be leaving the club at the end of his contract.

In July 2022, Pogba would make another glorious return to a former club rejoining Juventus. But this period of his career was a lot different to that of his earlier career.

His first season back at the club was filled with injuries. He suffered a bad knee injury early on in the season which required surgery leaving him out for an extended period of time. Ultimately meaning he missed the 2022 World Cup as well.

Upon his return he was dropped by manager Massimiliano Allegri for disciplinary reasons and just four days later Pogba announced he had suffered yet another injury. He would come back and get near instantly injured again. This season was certainly a low point with Pogba only registering a combined 161 minutes of football.

On September 11th 2023, Pogba was suspended by Juventus for a suspected failed drug test. This was later confirmed to be the reason on the 6th October 2023. The drug test had found non-endogenous testosterone metabolites. Essentially testosterone that isn't produced by the body. This is considered performance enhancing.

On the 29th February 2024 Pogba was handed a four year ban from football. Essentially putting an end to his football career.

Pogba continues to deny using any performance enhancing drug and will look to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

No matter the result of the appeal Pogba's career has taken a massive turn. To go from winning the world cup and being considered one of the best midfielders in world football to now being unable to play. And potentially to never play again. The downfall of Paul Pogba has been quick and incredibly dramatic.

Who knows what Pogba could have achieved if he had reached the heights of his potential from all those years ago. Now Pogba's football is nothing more than just a memory.

What an incredibly sad downfall for one of football's biggest and best midfielders.


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