Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba, has suggested that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are partly to blame for the criticism he has received in the course of his career, particularly in the current season, where he has scored 16 goals for the Red Devils.
Pogba has been at the receiving end of a plethora of criticism in his career, even after he won the FIFA World Cup with France last year.
His role at Manchester United has constantly been questioned, despite having contributed to 27 goals for the club this season.
The 26-year-old was recently named in the PFA Team of the Year, causing several fans to vocalise their discontent at the blatant snub of more deserving candidates.
In an interview with Icon Magazine, the Frenchman suggested that if it were not for the insane statistics behind Messi and Ronaldo, he would have been lauded for his contributions a long time ago.
He said (via Express UK),
“Football has changed a lot. “I grew up watching the exploits of great champions, real legends like [Alessandro] Del Piero, [Luis] Figo, [Francesco] Totti and many others.””All have been champions, the best in the world, but perhaps many of them did not achieve more than 20 goals per season.””Now the data, the statistics, the numbers, often seem to have become the only parameter of judgment. That, on the one hand, is good, it is part of the evolution of modern football and the desire to play the ball more and more.”
“But we often tend to forget how difficult it has always been to score more than 20 goals, even for the big players. And today perhaps even more so, because the distance between the teams of high level has been reduced, especially in big competitions.”
The World Cup winner added,
“Messi and Ronaldo have shown in recent years: doing what they did, maintaining those stats – that is the exception, not the norm.””If an attacker today scores ten or 15 goals, he is likely to be told that it is not enough. But the player’s work must be judged with perspective.””You have to remember that someone like Pavel Nedved won the Ballon d’Or without his team winning the Champions League or without having scored much himself. He was simply the best in his role and was rewarded for what he was capable of doing on the field.”