Florentin Pogba on Little Brother Paul Pogba: ‘We’re so proud of him’
Florentin Pogba is gearing up to meet his brother Paul for the first time in a competitive game when St-Étienne visit Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
The 26-year-old defender spoke to UEFA.com.
On facing his brother in the UEFA Europa League …
I predicted it! I was speaking to my brother during the draw and said: “Watch, we’re going to get Manchester United.” We were drawn first and they came out of the hat second. We had a laugh and said: “The day has come. We’re going to face each other on the pitch, rather than on our neighbourhood mini-pitch.”
When we play together on holiday, we’re always on the same team. Now I will be playing against him and I’ll be marking him. It will be weird but that’s football. It’s something for the whole family to enjoy because I don’t know if it will happen again. My parents will have mixed feelings because whatever happens there will be one winner and one loser. However, there are two winners because this game will be an unforgettable occasion. Who will my twin brother Mathias support? He will support his brothers.
These two games will be emotional and I hope we’ll take something positive from them. Even if United are a great club, anything is possible in football. The fact they’re better than us on paper doesn’t matter.
On growing up in the Parisian suburb of Roissy-en-Brie …
We’d always meet up with friends after school and play on our local artificial pitch until we were 15 or 16. That’s where we took our first steps in football. Paul enjoyed going in goal as a bit of joke. Otherwise, we always played outfield and we all liked scoring goals, copying the stars we watched on television. It was great.
We were separated in 2007 when my twin brother and I left for Spain to join Celta Vigo and my younger brother went to Le Havre. To reach the level we’re at today, I think we had to do that. Now all three of us are professionals, so we have no regrets about that move. We only moved apart in terms of distance. Even if we don’t call each other, we message each other every day.
On Paul Pogba’s rise to stardom …
I’ve known how good he is since he was very young, but for him to be in the first team at such a big club is amazing.
In terms of being the world’s most expensive player, I think he has put that to one side because it’s more an issue for the media. He is not letting it bother him. He’s just playing his football, even though everything he does gets three or four times more attention, good or bad. He can handle all of that because of the mental strength he has had since his youth.
He is quite irritable though, he doesn’t like to lose. His head starts buzzing when he loses. I learned to lose and I would say that you’re not losing but learning. But for him, when he loses, he goes mad.
We’ll always be behind him. He knows what it’s like in our family. Whether he has a good game or a bad game, we’ll always be there for him. He can win all the trophies in the world, he’ll still be my little brother.