Fabio Cannavaro has criticised Paul Pogba’s ‘image-obsessed mentality’, believing the French superstar is too fixated on his appearance to truly “compete at the top”.
The 29-year-old has certainly not been afraid to don a daring hairdo over the years or produce a flamboyant post-goal celebration, but that was often a bone of contention among some fans at former club Manchester United when the club weren’t performing well.
He ended a polarising six-year spell at Old Trafford this summer and rejoined Juventus, but he will have to endure a slight wait for his second Old Lady debut after sustaining a knee injury last month that is likely to render him unavailable for a few more weeks.
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Massimiliano Allegri has made several important transfers this summer as he looks to channel the club’s Scudetto-hoarding form of the 2010s and knock the Milan brothers off their current title-winning perch, but Pogba has unquestionably been the pick of the bunch.
Despite the crackle of anticipation coming from Pogba’s acquisition, one-time Ballon d’Or winner Cannavaro — who played for Juventus between 2004 and 2006 — believes his former club have signed a player just below that top-level bracket, in part due to his image-obsessed reputation.
The 136-capped Italy international said: “As a football player Paul Pogba thrilled me a lot. But in recent years living at Manchester United he was unrecognisable.
“Treating him in excess of his hair and image makes me suspect that he feels he has arrived.
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“And when a football player thinks like this you can’t compete at the top, 100 per cent. But I am convinced that he wants revenge in his second life in Italy.”
On top of Pogba, Allegri has also strengthened with the signing of Angel di Maria on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain, promising Italy U21 international Andrea Cambiaso — who has since been loaned out to Bologna — Filip Kostic from Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt and Bremer from cross-city rivals Torino.