Football News

Fabio Cannavaro believes Paul Pogba is too focused on his “image” to be a consistently world class player

By Ben Green

Published: 13:28, 20 August 2022

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.

“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.