15 fun facts about Paul Pogba

Juventus Pogba
Everything you need to know about French superstar Paul Pogba!

Paul Pogba is a French professional football player who currently plays as a central midfielder for Juventus and the France national team. Born on March 15, 1993, in Lagny-sur-Marne, France, Pogba is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, known for a rare mix of technical ability, range of passing, physicality, ball-winning abilities, and creativity on the pitch.

Pogba began his career at the age of six playing for local club US Roissy-en-Brie. He later joined US Torcy, from where the rough diamond was scouted by Le Havre AC. In 2009, Pogba joined Manchester United's youth academy and quickly made a name for himself as a highly-prodigious talent. He made his first-team debut in 2011 but struggled to establish himself in the squad.

In 2012, Pogba left the northern England club after his contract expired, having only made seven appearances as a substitute. He joined Juventus, who only had to pay £800,000 to secure his services.

At Juventus, he became an integral part of the team, completing a wonderful midfield alongside Juve legends Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio. He enjoyed a trophy-laden four-year stint with the Italian giants, helping them win four consecutive Serie A titles and the Coppa Italia twice between 2012 and 2016, as well as reaching the UCL final in 2014/15. Pogba was also named the Serie A Footballer of the Year in 2013 and 2014 and was included in the UEFA Team of the Year in 2015.

His performances were so good that Manchester United -- the very same club that released him -- forked out a then world-record fee of £89 million to prize him away from Turin in 2018. He was 23 and had been named young player of the tournament at the previous World Cup. He was a rising star, the type of player and leader who was expected to pull United out of their post-Alex Ferguson rut.

It all started so positively for Pogba back at Manchester United. In his first season, he played alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and helped them win the League Cup and the Europa League, while also moving the Red Devils to a second-place league finish and a return to Champions League action.

However, it all turned sour towards the end of his second stint at United. He has also been criticised for his performances, while some fans and pundits have accused him of not living up to his potential and being inconsistent on and off the pitch.

After another underwhelming season in 2021/22, he left Old Trafford at the end of his contract in the summer of 2022 to rejoin Juventus on a free transfer. He has played just twice for the Italian giants since moving to Turin, with his first season back in Italy largely plagued by various injury problems.

For France, he was one of the driving forces of France's 2018 World Cup win, playing a crucial role in the midfield alongside N'Golo Kante. He was once again a key player for France at Euro 2020 and has made 91 appearances for France, scoring 11 goals but he missed the 2022 World Cup through injury.

Here are 15 fun facts about Pogba you need to know!

  1. Nicknamed 'Paul the Octopus' 🌐 🐙

    When he played in Italy first time around, Paul got a nickname ‘Il Polpo’ which translates to 'Paul the Octopus'. This is because he has a lanky frame and long legs to control the ball and keep it in possession. His strides and legs are as powerful as an octopus' tentacles.

  2. Idolises Andrea Pirlo

    Idolises Andrea Pirlo

    Paul Pogba has spoken extensively about how much he looks up to and has learned from Andrea Pirlo, an Italy and Juventus legend. Pirlo and Pogba played together during his first stint at Juventus, where Pirlo was an experienced midfielder and Pogba was a rising star. Pogba has often mentioned Pirlo as one of his idols, praising him for his exceptional passing ability, vision, and composure on the ball.

    The 30-year-old has even tried to adopt some of the principles of Pirlo's playing style, including his long-range passing and ability to control the tempo of the game. Pogba has also credited Pirlo for helping him become a better player and develop his skills as a midfielder.

    In an interview, Pogba said, "I learned a lot from Pirlo. He was an example for me, not just as a player but as a person too. I watched him all the time in training and in matches, trying to learn from him."

  3. Raised by a single 'super mum'

    Often referred to as 'super mum', Yeo Moriba is recognised for making a number of sacrifices for her children as she raised her three sons single-handedly after she divorced from her husband Fassou Antoine Pogba, in 1996. Yeo brought her three boys alone on France's little council house, and was the driving force behind her three sons' footballing careers.

    Pogba has in the past admitted that his mother is his greatest source of inspiration. During an interview with Esquire in 2017, the Frenchman said his mother is his first girlfriend.

    Yeo holds a passion for the sport as well, and now serves as an ambassador with the Guinea FA. She even founded a football club in Guinea and used to be the captain of the Guinea women's national team.

  4. Twin footballer brothers!
    ATK Mohun Bagan

    Twin footballer brothers!

    Paul has twin elder brothers - Mathias and Florentin. And you'll be surprised to learn that all three of them are professional football players, and love statement hairstyles. Florentin, who plays as centre-back, has endured a journeyman career around Europe - playing in seven countries including England, Wales and Scotland.

    He's currently plying his trade for Indian Super League club ATK Mohun Bagan (renamed as Mohun Bagan Super Giants) while Matthias last played for French fourth-tier outfit ASM Belfort. Of course, Paul is the most famous out of the three.

  5. Paul and Florentin faced each other in a competitive match

    Paul and Florentin faced each other in a competitive match

    In 2017, Manchester United drew French outfit AS Saint-Etienne in the Europa League Round of 32 tie. This meant that the Pogba brothers faced off against each other in a competitive encounter for the first time.

    United won the first leg 1-0 owing to a Henrikh Mkhitaryan goal. In the second leg, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick and secured United’s progression to the next round.

    The brothers swapped shirts after both games and embraced, in what was surely an emotional moment for the duo.

    When asked how it felt to play against his brother, Pogba told MUTV: "Something magic. I just couldn't believe it when I saw him. We started laughing and just said we needed to enjoy the moment. It doesn't happen every day."

  6. Paul vs Mathias | The Feud 💸🥊

    Mathias has previously had a close relationship with his younger and more esteemed brother Paul. The duo was frequently spotted together, partying and enjoying Paul's accomplishments, notably after the 2018 World Cup final. He was also in the Stade de France supporting his brother when the Paris terror attacks occurred in November 2015.

    Speaking earlier that year, he said: "I’m protective of Paul, yes. I don’t see him as ‘Paul Pogba’ like everyone else. For me, he’s mon petit frere [my little brother]. I’m fiercely proud of him, but I think we’re all proud of what we’ve achieved in the game."

    However, the Pogbas relationship has seemingly hit the rocks since they were involved in an ugly public spat with wild accusations last year, with Mathias publishing a video with threats to expose Paul, his agent and lawyer Rafaela Pimenta. The situation also seemingly involved Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe. Mathias alleged that Paul hired an African witch known as Ibrahim to cast a spell on Mbappe and allegedly have the French international injured.

    He further claimed that Pogba utilised witchcraft to "neutralise" Mbappe during PSG's UCL match against Manchester United in 2019, which the Red Devils famously won.

    Paul later acknowledged he had consulted a marabout, but only for help with his ongoing injuries. Also, Paul released a statement suggesting that he had been the victim of an £11m extortion attempt by Mathias.

  7. Came close to joining Real Madrid

    What if we told you that Pogba came close to joining Real Madrid during his time at Manchester United?

    In the summer of 2019, Pogba announced he wanted to leave Old Trafford in the hope of sealing a return to Juventus or Real Madrid. A reported offer of around €31m plus James Rodriguez from Real boss Zinedine Zidane was swiftly rebuffed.

    The Frenchman - under pressure from certain fans to commit his future to the club - even missed a penalty in the next game against Wolves. Pogba returned to the set-up after recuperating from surgery during lockdown and helped Man Utd finish the season in third place.

    In 2020, the club activated a contractual clause to extend his stay at Old Trafford for another year before leaving on a free to Turin the very next summer.

  8. An Arsenal fan

    Paul Pogba has spent much of his professional career at Manchester United and Juventus, but Arsenal was the club he loved as a kid.

    In an interview with Football Focus back in December 2017, Pogba revealed he loved to watch Arsenal while growing up in France. It was that strong French connection which attracted Pogba to Arsenal, with Thierry Henry in particular an inspiration to the United midfielder.

    He said: "In France, they were very big.

    "They [Arsenal] had a lot of French players. I was a big fan of Arsenal, Thierry Henry – I was watching him.

    "I was a little fan, not a crazy fan, but I was watching a lot of Arsenal games. They have always been a great club."

  9. Funky hairstyles🦰

    Funky hairstyles🦰

    In addition to his goals and all-action play, the Frenchman has also been known for his ever-changing crazy and unique hairstyles, which have become something of a trademark for the midfielder, featuring bold colours, intricate designs, and unusual patterns.

    When it comes to his hair, Pogba has tried everything from shaved stripes to mohawks, vivid crimson streaks to blue splashes, with each new haircut often making headlines and sparking discussion among fans and media outlets.

    Some of Pogba's other notable hairstyles include a leopard print design, a Batman and his own face impressions, a bright red dye job, and a shaved head with a blonde streak, a simple buzz cut or a slicked-back look. Pogba often shares pictures of his new hairstyles on social media, where he holds a huge following.

    His love of bold hairstyles stems from his passion for fashion and self-expression. Regardless of the reason behind his hairstyle choices, there is no denying that Pogba's haircuts are a memorable and distinctive part of his public image.

  10. The iconic dab celebration style
    Getty Images

    The iconic dab celebration style

    One of Paul Pogba's most iconic celebrations is the "dab," which involves putting his head down and extending one arm while tucking the other under his chin. Pogba first debuted the move after scoring a goal for Juventus in 2015 and it quickly became his signature celebration.

    The dab has now become a part of culture, and back in the mid-2010s, it was the latest internet craze to take the world by storm.

    The origins of the dab are unclear, but it is believed to have started in the hip-hop community and gained widespread popularity on social media. Pogba's introduction of the dab has been credited with helping to bring the move into mainstream culture and it has since been imitated by many other athletes and celebrities.

    He continued dabbing his way through 2016 with his teammate Jesse Lingard, helping to grow the move into the global sensation it became, with Adidas and FIFA also using it in their commercials. He dabbed with the 2018 World Cup trophy and urged the public to use the move as a campaign to wear masks, and help stop the spread of Coronavirus in 2020. He has recently switched to a different celebration.

    He has also trademarked his famous dab goal celebration, paving the way for the launch of his lifestyle brand.

  11. Launched app called 'Pogmoji' 🤩

    Pogba also keeps himself busy with creative ventures away from the football field. He loves the celebrity lifestyle and he has his very own emoji app.

    He boasts one of the most recognisable faces in world football, with a distinct fun-loving personality which complements his maverick ability.

    After getting his own emoji in 2017, the World Cup winner released his very own app "Pogmoji" - and yeah, you guessed it right : an app just full of Paul Pogba emojis for his fans to play around with.

    There are numerous ones for different facial expressions, ranging from sorry PogFaces to smiling Pogba, winking Pogba, sunglasses-wearing Pogba, cool Pogba, thug Pogba, and smirking Pogba, among many others. PogHands and PogStuff include hand gestures like the red and yellow referee cards and the odd stuff the Frenchman liked. You name it, he's got an emoji for it.

  12. First to have Twitter emoji

    While it's not as illustrious as his other sporting achievements, Paul Pogba has became the first footballer to be gifted his very own emoji in 2017. The honour was bestowed on the then-Manchester United midfielder by Twitter, which means that a little image of Pogba’s shorn head popped up anytime anybody used the designated #Pogba hashtag.

    He also stepped out for Manchester United's game with Leicester with his own official Twitter emoji printed onto his boots.

  13. The Amazon 'Pogmentary'
    Getty/Amazon Prime/GOAL composite

    The Amazon 'Pogmentary'

    Like Messi and Ronaldo, Pogba also has a documentary centred around him. The series, dubbed "Pogmentary," was produced by Amazon Prime Video and released in 2021. The documentary follows Pogba's life and career, including his childhood in France, his rise to fame in the soccer world, and his experiences playing for Manchester United and the French national team.

    The series features interviews with Pogba, his family, friends, and teammates, as well as footage from his matches and behind-the-scenes moments, including contract negotiations. The documentary also sheds light on some of the challenges that Pogba had faced, including racism and criticism from fans and media.

    While Pogba has undeniable bags of technical talent and is one of the game’s biggest names, he is also one of the most polarising footballers in the world.

    A scene in which Pogba openly refers to the £300,000 per week contract extension provided by United as "nothing" sparked outrage online, with many calling out his over-inflated ego. However, it became the lowest-rated show on IMDB in the film and TV website’s history, sitting on just one star out of 10.

  14. A devout Muslim

    Religion has been a major influence in Pogba’s life. He grew up with parents who had different faiths and was initially a Christian, going to church, but his journey as a devout Muslim began when he first prayed with friends. In his own words, Pogba has stated his faith has ‘calmed’ and ‘appeased’ him.

  15. Accomplished world-class footballer, or 'wasted' potential?

    Accomplished world-class footballer, or 'wasted' potential?

    Pogba was meant to be a transformative signing for Manchester United -- a world-record transfer that proved that the best players in the world still wanted to move to Old Trafford and showed that the club would be competing for big honours once again.

    Instead, even with Pogba in his prime, United never genuinely pushed for the Premier League and only made it to the Champions League quarterfinals once. When Pogba is in full flow, there are few more creative, exciting, brilliant footballers in the world. He has it all; impeccable technique, dribbling, touch, vision, passing range, and a languid but powerful physique.

    He is the archetypal modern footballer. And the fact that we haven't seen nearly enough of his class is a bit of disappointment as there were just glimpses of this glitter and stardust.

    Although he returned to Juventus having been one of football's best-paid players and with a face famous around the globe, it's hard to view the Frenchman's career as anything other than a big missed opportunity since his years in the Premier League.

    By most accounts, he has had a successful career, but his talents could have delivered so much more. He may reinvigorate his Juventus career, but his injury-plagued debut season suggests otherwise.