Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has revealed suffering with ‘unmistakable signs’ of depression during his career, as well as admitting a lack of clarity over his role at the club and his frustration over failure to win trophies in the last five years.
Pogba, whose home was burgled last week during United’s Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid, re-joined the club to much fanfare for a world record fee in 2016. But his time back in Manchester, where he had previously spent four years in the youth ranks, has been mixed and the occasionally world class Frenchman has often been criticised for a lack of consistency.
Currently away with the French national team, Pogba has opened up on his personal struggles and his feelings about his situation in an interview with Parisian tabloid Le Figaro.
Pogba on 'unmistakable signs' of depression
“I've had depression in my career, but we don't talk about it,” the player said. “Sometimes you don't know you are, you just want to isolate yourself, be alone, these are unmistakable signs.
"Personally, it began when I was with Jose Mourinho in Manchester. You ask yourself questions, you wonder if you are at fault, because you have never experienced these moments in your life.”
Pogba on his lack of a clear role at Man Utd
The difference between the consistency of Pogba's performances for France compared to his up and down club displays have been quite stark for several years.
“[Didier Deschamps] gave me a role that I know [for France], but, at Manchester United, do I really have a role? I ask the question and I don't have the answer,” he commented.
"I have much more playing time [with France], the system is different than at club level. In fact, it’s simple, with Les Bleus, I play, and moreover, in my position. I know my role, I feel the confidence of the coach and the players,
"It’s normal to feel this difference with Manchester, because it’s hard to be regular when you often change your position, your system of play or your partners.”
Pogba on dissatisfaction with a lack of trophies
Since winning the EFL Cup and Europa League in 2016/17, Pogba's debut season back at United, the club has failed to add any more silverware for what is now five consecutive seasons.
He has said his next plans is: "To keep winning, to keep progressing, and to make up for those years when I couldn’t win trophies.
"I have to be honest, I’m not happy with that - over the last five seasons, but really not at all. This year it’s dead, we won’t win anything again. Whether it’s with Manchester or another club, I want to win trophies.”
Pogba on the recent burglary at his home
Pogba also spoke about the recent break-in that saw burglars enter his home and steal a safe, all while his young children were in the property. Thankfully, no harm came to the infants, with the nanny caring for them opting to lock herself in a room with them to stay out of danger.
“There was my mother’s jewellery in [the safe], my World Cup medal. What scared me the most, is that my two children were at home with the nanny during the incident. The most important thing is that my children are doing fine,” Pogba said.
The 29-year-old even alluded to his struggles for consistent form at United stemming from the lack of a defined role on the pitch, which is the converse of how he operates for France.