It was once said that Paul Pogba had the physical prowess of a basketball player with the delicate dexterity of a ballerina.
Events over the last 14 months have given Pogba the life of a character in a heavy-handed gangster film.
Here’s a look at the scarcely believable events that have unfolded upon a truly hellish return to Turin.
After a protracted offseason punctuated by an ill-advised Pogmentary, Pogba eventually came Pogback to the club which he represented with such success between 2012 and 2016. A documentary that followed Pogba’s 2022/23 campaign would make for much more interesting viewing.
At the end of August 2022, Sky Italia reported that two unidentified individuals had approached Juve’s training complex demanding to see the midfielder. They were unsuccessful and described as “old acquaintances” allegedly looking for money after acting as Pogba’s discreet protection throughout his professional career.
It served as the next chapter in a tale as dangerous as it is depressing which began with Pogba supposedly being held at gunpoint in March 2022.
On 16 July, Pogba filed an official complaint with the Italian authorities. Regrettably, it was hardly the last instalment of this saga.
Two days earlier, Pogba had managed to navigate an entire half of football without injuring himself in a pre-season friendly against Mexican side Chivas Guadalajara. However, during a training session as part of the US tour, Pogba felt a “pain in his right knee”. This turned out to be a lesion on his lateral meniscus that clouded the rest of his campaign.
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Pogba returned from the US to consult with Italian doctors about the best route to recovery. The then-29-year-old sought out the advice of the French knee specialist Bertrand Sonnery-Cottet, who operated on Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2022 and ultimately determined that conservative therapy was the best course of action with the aim of being fit for the winter World Cup.
As with everything for Pogba this season, it did not work out well.
While nursing his fresh knee injury, Pogba entered a dialogue with officers from France’s Central Office for the Fight against Organised Crime (OCLCO), detailing what took place on 19 March 2022. Four days earlier, Pogba’s Manchester residence had been burgled but much worse was to follow in Paris.
With a pair of assault rifles pointed his way, Pogba was ordered to pay €13m or risk the ruin of his reputation as reported by The Athletic. Pogba…