'Pogba has become a leader' – Man Utd star hailed as France's World Cup hero by Rami

After impressing on the grandest of sporting stages in Russia, the £89 million midfielder is considered to have matured by an international colleague

Paul Pogba has “become a leader”, according to Adil Rami, with the Manchester United midfielder proving to be a driving force behind France’s World Cup triumph.

Having faced plenty of criticism for club and country heading into the showpiece event in Russia, the 25-year-old had much to prove under the brightest of spotlights.

He has always been comfortable operating in such surroundings and was able to raise his game to the levels expected of him as he controlled the French engine room alongside N’Golo Kante.

A fine goal in a 4-2 final victory over Croatia topped off an impressive tournament for Pogba, as Les Bleus conquered the world for a second time, and he is now considered to have matured into a player capable of producing talismanic displays when those around him need them most.

Marseille defender Rami told L’Equipe after seeing Pogba star in Moscow: “I can tell you that Paul Pogba, I don’t know how and I don’t know from where, has become a leader. He proved it to us, he showed it.

“He’s a technical player, he has a lot of talent. He was able to battle defensively. Everyone loves players who do tricks, nutmegs, flicks. I can tell you that Paul became a leader. He’s the one that showed the way.”

He added: “Everyone expects nutmegs and stepovers, but football isn’t that. You sweat, you give your body to the cause. There are matches where you have to roll your sleeves up. Some people have understood that and him especially.

“He was the strong man of the France team. Defensively he helped the team. I could talk about everyone, but Paul showed maturity. Technique is good, but it’s the attitude that is the most important.”

Pogba will be granted an extended break by United on the back of his World Cup-winning efforts, but they will be hoping to see him replicate his international form in 2018-19.

The Red Devils, who are currently in America preparing for International Champions Cup duty, are due to open their Premier League campaign at home to Leicester on August 10.

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