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Rio Ferdinand backs Pogba to beat transfer fee pressure

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says the Premier League outfit is the perfect place for Paul Pogba to build his case as the world’s best player and beat the pressure that goes with a world-record transfer fee.

Though the amount was much smaller, Ferdinand himself had to prove he was worthy of a massive transfer fee when he became the then-most expensive British transfer in history, picked up by United from Leeds for £30million in 2002.

While Pogba is reportedly set to arrive from Serie A champions Juventus in a deal worth over £100m, the former England international thinks the Frenchman will prove worthy of the hefty price.

“I speak to Paul. I know him.” said Ferdinand. “For Paul, it’s all about football. It’s not about money.

“The biggest things for me and my family [when I moved to United] was not the money. It was: ‘What’s [Ryan Giggs] Giggsy like? What’s Roy Keane like?’

“Paul’s like that. He loves football. It’s all about improving and being the best.

“When he left I asked him why and he said: ‘I want to be the best player in the world.’ He’s on the right track.”

But Ferdinand did admit that while he thought Pogba has what it takes to be the best player in the world, he still has to go out on the park and prove it on a consistent basis – not just on match-day but in training as well.

“[The transfer fee] is big pressure, but my biggest pressure wasn’t on the football pitch at Old Trafford,” he added.

“My biggest pressure was on the training pitch with those players. It was walking into the dressing room knowing that they were thinking: ‘What does £30million get you then? Can he win us the league? Can he help be the bedrock of this team?’

“That’s the pressure that I felt most when I went into Manchester United, and putting that pressure on myself to write myself into the history of the club through success and winning trophies.”


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Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field