Back at Juventus, Pogba has no regrets over time in England
TURIN, Italy (AP) — Paul Pogba has no regrets over his time at Manchester United and insists he feels no pressure as he returns to Juventus after a few disappointing years back in England.
Pogba completed a free transfer to Juventus on Monday, bringing an end to an underwhelming second stint at United, which he joined for a world record fee of around 105 million euros ($116 million) in 2016.
Pogba made 226 appearances, scoring 39 goals, in six injury-affected years in Manchester. During that time, he won the World Cup with France in 2018 but his performances for United never matched those for his national team, with United managers unable to find his best role.
“I’m happy with the choices I’ve made, that’s life, sometimes you make decisions that don’t go as you would have liked,” Pogba said in his first news conference back in Turin on Tuesday.
“I’m happy with the years I spent at United: I grew up, I learnt a lot, and I became a man. I don’t think I made a mistake.”
Pogba was a fan favorite in his first spell at Juventus and helped the team win the Serie A in each of his four seasons. He also won two Italian Cups, and two Italian Super Cups, as well as earning a Champions League runner-up medal in 2015, before returning to United.
Despite his less than impressive performances in England, Juventus fans will be hoping to see the Pogba of old as they look to the 29-year-old midfielder to bring back glory to the storied Italian club after two seasons of disappointment.
“No pressure, there’s no pressure,” Pogba said. “I know that I had amazing seasons at Juventus, I have faith in myself to do well again.”
Pogba said it was “more than a dream” to be back at Juventus, adding he was “very happy to return home.”
Pogba will be reunited with coach Massimiliano Allegri, who was in charge for the Frenchman’s last two seasons at Juventus.
“Even when I was in Manchester I always talked with Allegri, I always had a good relationship with him,” Pogba said. “I had great years with him and it was the right time to come back, with the right person.”
Allegri returned last year — two years after being fired — to replace Andrea Pirlo. But Juventus finished the season in fourth for the second straight year.
When Pogba was first signed by Juventus, in 2012, he was a precocious teenager. Now older and wiser, he insists one thing hasn’t changed.
“Which Pogba is back at Juve? A Pogba that wants to win like before,” he said. “I don’t like losing, it’s the same for Juve.
“I have the same aims. I return to a family and this time like a father but I am still the same. I always want to win, I’m hungry for success.”
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports