All eyes are on the World Cup as nations are putting in the daily effort to try for the top prize. This edition has been a bit of a surprise with regards to how favorites have fared, with draws and even surprise losses setting the stage for a month that will be more than what one hoped for.
Amongst the favorites who actually did meet the mark are Belgium and France, both teams privy to a dynamic range of talent and talked up to win it all.
While Belgium has only the sample space of one game to brag about, the Frenchmen with their two victories seem quite firm. The most recent of these came on Thursday, when France beat Peru 1-0 courtesy of a first-half goal from Kylian Mbappe.
While the teenager was the undisputed sight of the game, the real surprise, or perhaps even the real relief, came through the performance of Paul Pogba.
WATCH: Players Reaction To Argentina vs Croatia 0-3
The Manchester United midfielder was pelted with criticism for this past season due to the manner in which he was functioning at Old Trafford. In many instances, talk of a possible departure had also arisen, and he himself had opened up about how the remarks kept piling on and on.
But with France, the 25-year-old has proper shushed his haters in just two games. His first provided the decisive winner that kept France ahead, and against Peru, it was his role that led to the creation of Mbappe’s goal.
Twitter was ecstatic with how the former Juventus star has been playing, and lauded him quite rightly.
Paul Pogba keeps producing despite being the most criticized player in the world
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) June 21, 2018
Paul Pogba breaking up the play and creating France’s opening goal? Shocked. Has played some wonderful passes today. Pulling the strings.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) June 21, 2018
— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) June 21, 2018
Paul Pogba has been involved in all three of France’s goals at the World Cup but all you hear from the media is how he needs to keep it simple and how he shouldn’t have a hair cut. Ridiculous. #mufc
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) June 21, 2018
These games are a point in the bag as to what he can truly do if the right personnel are around him. The lifting of defensive duties simply does the trick.
With the likes of N’Golo Kante to rely on and players like Griezmann and Mbappe to aid, his oft-quoted price tag is arguably fit, if not more. Is Mourinho taking notes?