Prior to the start of the World Cup, Zlatan Ibrahimovic stated that in his opinion, Mbappe and Pogba would be the two players to watch out for in the tournament.
Pogba had a hand in both the goals France scored, en route a 2-1 win over Australia. However, his performance came under fire from some quarters following the game. There were suggestions that the midfielder had underperformed.
Ibrahimovic took exception to those notions. Talking to beIN Sport, the big Swede was not in the most accommodating mood for the media.
Zlatan stated: “Obviously when you make so much money as he does, if you cost so much money, people will criticise you out of jealousy, out of just having an opinion.
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“But if I look at the midfielders in that team, he wanted it more than the rest put together. Maybe Matuidi can open his mouth and say what he wants, but the rest cannot say nothing. He played in a European final, UEFA Cup final, and he’s won trophies. And he’s still young and he’s still improving.”
The Swede carried on in the same vein with his tirade against the media, saying: “If you want to talk, you talk about the other ones who didn’t win. He won. He is doing his job and he’s getting better and he’s becoming more mature.
“Expectations are high, obviously, because we know how good he is. But as I know him personally, he works very hard, he’s very professional, he wants always to improve and when I see all this criticism from everyone it’s all jealousy because he makes more money than them.”
France will next face Peru, who lost their opening encounter against Denmark 1-0. While Pogba certainly had his moments, there is enough reason to believe that he could improve on his showing against Australia.