Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand has reached out to Paul Pogba to explain his recent criticism of the France star’s social media exploits, telling him “timing is key to everything” he posts.
An Instagram video of the world’s most expensive player displaying a new dance move with Jesse Lingard earned the ire of ex-England captain Ferdinand.
The 38-year-old, who won the Premier League six times with the Red Devils, told BT Sport: “I’m all for having a bit of fun on social media and stuff, but not when you’re sixth in the league and you’re not in a Champions League position and you’re fighting.”
A trip to last week’s Super Bowl has prompted Ferdinand to re-think his position and he recognises that modern sports stars are embracing their presence on social media.
However, he still prefers an “old school” approach and urged Pogba to think about the timing of his posts.
“Since those comments, and I have spoken to Paul about them, I’ve had time to think and we are in a different era now,” Ferdinand said in quotes published by several British newspapers.
“I was doing stuff that Alan Mullery [a former Tottenham and England player] was probably going: ‘Oh my God, what’s he doing?’
“But times change. In a lot of ways, I like old school stuff in terms of my professionalism with football, but with the social media element I was over here [gestures] to everyone else at the beginning, so I understand it and what it means to the players to have a social media following and to be active on social media.
“My only issue was timing. Timing is key to everything about when you put stuff out and I’ve said that about Arsenal players and been vocal on Manchester United players. It’s about timing.
“But we have to accept we are in a different era. I was in America last week for the Super Bowl and everything over there is geared to social media.
“The cameras are in the changing room and, me being a pundit on the other side of the fence I’d love to be able to go in there after a game, so there is going to be a shift and it takes a bit of getting used to.
“But the key word is just the timing which can set things and people off the wrong way.”
Ferdinand remains unsure if Pogba will heed his advice, but has no doubt the 23-year-old possesses all the attributes to be one of the world’s best.
“Paul, since knowing him as a kid, he is a strong guy, very confident in his ability,” added. “I said it first when he came to United that was the difference between him and all the other kids of his age.
“He had an aura about him in terms of that he sensed he had the chance to be a top, top player and he wasn’t going to let that slip.
“He is someone you could beat down with all the sticks you wanted, but he would still do the same things all the time because he has that confidence, that certain amount of arrogance you need to be a top player.
“Did he see my point? I don’t know, maybe only time will tell. I think we will see that.”
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