Paul Pogba praised as ‘leader’ after returning to France team following year away


Paul Pogba made his return to the France national team on Sunday evening after around a year out of the picture due to injury and the delay of matches.

While he couldn’t inspire his team to victory, he was a prominent figure throughout the 0-0 draw and team captain Hugo Lloris was impressed with the Manchester United midfielder’s performance.

“Very present [in the game], he wanted the ball. He put on his voice. He is a leader, and we felt it,” the Tottenham goalkeeper said.

“After a year of absence, we felt him in the legs. But he was fine.”

Midfield partner Adrien Rabiot, who has also returned to the set-up after winning a regular spot with Juventus, said the all-round performance was good from France but lacked a definitive touch in the final third.

“There is satisfaction, and disappointment too because we could have done better,” Rabiot told L’Equipe.

“Defensively we were solid, but offensively we played with the brake. We didn’t totally let go. In the second period, we had more control and we should have supported more.

“I felt good. I arrived in the group late. The coach told me that I will play, and I felt good. I am confident. I tried to give the maximum. Personally, I am happy. We will try to quickly move on.”

France are second in League A, Group 3, behind Portugal on goal difference.

Pogba and co. face Croatia on Wednesday night, while Portugal host currently pointless Sweden at the same time in gameweek four.

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