Competitiveness is built into the very DNA of football. The more cherished virtues of class, gentlemanliness, and fair play are all wound around that crucial factor of the game.
Yet, sometimes, the lines that define rivalries and the actions that render them as appropriate or not can be quite blurry.
Paul Pogba got into trouble a few weeks ago for automatically posting a jovial picture of himself when Manchester United had just been battered.
The Frenchman came under much fire for that, with some even suggesting that his vice-captaincy may have been stripped away as a direct result of the post. But now, the midfielder has gone and done something similar, and this time around, mercy seems sparse.
Pogba was seen sporting a big smile next to Juan Cuadrado after United suffered a 1-0 loss to Juventus at Old Trafford in the Champions League. To make matters worse, the picture, which was posted to Cuadrado’s Twitter, also featured Pogba holding a gift bag from the Italian giants.
The loss stripped the Red Devils of some much-needed momentum, and seeing their star player smiling next to a player of the opposing team just moments after losing doesn’t sit well. In fact, quite a few supporters shared this sentiment, and took to Twitter to pour out their vehemence against Pogba.
In defense of the 25-year-old, Juventus was the team that made him the star he is today, after the Manchester United youth-academy product was sold by his former club.
Further, the nature of social media makes it easy for several fans to be vocal about their displeasure, while Pogba still managed to take home his impressive paycheck, regardless of the defeat.
It will be quite interesting to see if Jose Mourinho has any repercussions in store for Pogba for this seemingly insignificant, yet quite a stirring act.