Deschamps: ‘I only want the ‘real’ Pogba on the national team’


France national team coach Didier Deschamps was non-committal on Paul Pogba’s future with Les Bleus: “I only want Paul on the team if he is really Paul.” Deschamps was speaking in an extensive interview with L’Equipe and touched on the future of a number of his players, including those who feature in Serie A, namely Pogba and Giroud, and also shared his thoughts on potential Inter signing Benjamin Pavard and the situation in Saudi Football:

“Whether Pogba is still a French national team player? Yes, potentially yes. But he comes from such a complicated year, between injuries and extra-sports problems, that he has to find his compass again. I talk to him, of course, but his recovery has an indefinable time frame: he has to do trainings, then outings, then games, and his body has to resist. I only want Paul on the team if he is really Paul. But I think he can come back; he has the mind and the ability to make it.”

“Pavard? He did not fight for the World Cup, but that does not mean he does not have our trust. We have always called him up. He was simply not in the right psychological and physical condition at the World Cup to meet expectations, it can happen to anyone.”

“Kolo Muani over Olivier Giroud? They are different profiles and they are not the same age, but that is not why I will prefer one over the other.”

“Saudi Arabia? They will become more and more competitive, but when it’s 45 degrees, the first half hour is fine, then the pace drops. It’s still not at the level of the Champions League, what gives value is only the great players who have arrived.”

“Was I contacted by the Saudi Arabian national team? They don’t have my number. And even if they did, I’m not available.”


Serie A obsessive.