Jose Mourinho has mounted a fierce defence of Paul Pogba and says that the Manchester United midfielder does not care about critics who envy his money.
United paid a world record fee of £93.25m to take Pogba back to Old Trafford last summer after he helped Juventus to four straight Italian titles.
The Frenchman’s performances this season have divided opinion, with some pundits arguing the midfielder has not yet found the best position for his “fantastic attributes”.
Others have been blunter in their appraisals, and after further criticism of Pogba’s performance at Chelsea in the FA Cup on Monday, Mourinho upheld the 24-year-old who he says “reached the top of the world” entirely on his own talent.
“I feel that the world is losing values and we all know that,” the United manager said ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie with FC Rostov. “Envy is coming into certain levels I am scared about.”
“It is not Paul’s fault that he gets 10 times the money some very good players did in the past.”
He included: “He deserves respect and his family deserves respect. He is a kid that comes from a working family, a family with three boys, and I am sure they need a lot of food around that table every day as they are big giants. I am sure the mum and the dad had to work hard for many, many years for them.”
“A kid that came to Manchester as a teenager, that fought for his career here, that was not afraid to move to another country to look for better conditions. He is a kid that reached the top of the world with his work. Nobody gave him anything.”
“I am really worried with the previous generations because things are going in such a direction – envy is everywhere and I am very happy with Paul, the club is very happy with Paul and because of his personality he doesn’t give an ass what people say.”
Pogba, who left United in 2012 to join Juve, has scored seven goals in 40 appearances in his first season back at the club.