Pogba Brands Reports of Retirement from International Football 'Unacceptable Fake News'

Published October 26th, 2020 - 01:45 GMT
Paul Pogba (Photo: AFP)
Paul Pogba (Photo: AFP)

Paul Pogba has branded reports of his imminent retirement from international football as "unacceptable fake news".

Sources from the Middle East reported over the weekend that Pogba had decided to step down from his duties for France in the wake of comments from his country's president Emmanuel Macron following the murder of Samuel Partey.

After the beheading of 47-year-old teacher Samuel Paty just outside of Paris, Macron issued the following statement: “Unity and firmness are the only answers to the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism.”

Paty was attacked as he made his way home from the school he taught at in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, having been targeted for showing his students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

It was suggested that as French Muslim, Pogba took offence to Macron's comments on Paty's death, and had subsequently decided to call time on his international career.

The Manchester United midfielder has, however, come out to dismiss those rumors on social medial, posting an image of an article published by The Sun on Twitter with "unacceptable fake news" emblazoned on the front.

Pogba has won 72 caps for France in total, scoring 10 goals, and played a key role in their run to World Cup glory in Russia in 2018.

The 27-year-old featured in Les Bleus' 7-1 friendly win over Ukraine at the start of the month, before also starring in a 0-0 draw with Portugal and a 2-1 win against Croatia in the UEFA Nation's League.

The Red Devils playmaker had been laid low with coronavirus prior to the international break, but has gradually started to build up his fitness again since returning to Old Trafford.

Pogba's latest outing came in a 0-0 draw with Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, but he was unable to help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side grab an all-important winner after coming on as second-half substitute.

Although the Frenchman has had to be content with a spot on the bench in three consecutive fixtures, he could be in line to regain his spot in the starting XI when United play host to RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Solskjaer told reporters of Pogba's progress after the stalemate against Chelsea: "He's been out for a while with coronavirus this summer, so he's getting better and better and maybe more his shape.

"Maybe I was unfair to him starting him that early in the first few games but he's coming on and he's done great when he's come on."

By James Westood

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