In the first edition of a new series looking at the potential stars of UEFA EURO 2016, UEFA.com shines the spotlight on Paul Pogba and considers his importance to hosts France.
Article top media content
At a glance
Named best young player at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Paul Pogba, not 23 until March, is expected to take even more of a starring role at UEFA EURO 2016 on home soil. The former Manchester United prospect now makes Juventus tick and has already racked up nearly 150 appearances for the Bianconeri. He is fast becoming an equally talismanic presence for his country.
Pogba not only won the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2013, he was honoured as player of the tournament. A year later, he figured in all five France games at the World Cup in Brazil, edging out compatriot Raphaël Varane and Netherlands forward Memphis Depay to be selected best young player. Who knows what he might achieve as a more established presence next summer ...
What he offers
Importance for France
Pogba is equally adept as a deep-lying midfielder protecting the defence or as a playmaker supporting the attack. He is mostly deployed as a box-to-box player in the mould of former Bleus captain Patrick Vieira. Blessed with excellent technical prowess and splendid distribution, he is sharp in the tackle and a threat in front of goal. Add his considerable physical presence – as strong in the air as he is comfortable on the ground – into the mix and, considering he is still just 22, Pogba surely has all the qualities to become THE complete midfielder.
Debut: France 3-1 Georgia, 22 March 2013 (World Cup qualifier)
EURO final tournament (France record)
Appearances: 0 (Lilian Thuram, 16)
Goals: 0 (Michel Platini, 9)