Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pogba versus Pogba: Florentin will relish ´dream´ Europa League clash

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 12 Feb 2017

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Florentin Pogba is looking forward to a “dream” Europa League clash against his younger brother, Manchester United star Paul Pogba, on Thursday.

United are set to face Saint-Etienne in the last 32 of the competition, and the French side could call on 26-year-old defender Florentin, who has made nine appearances in Europe this season.

While he and twin brother Mathias are both professional footballers, neither have previously played against Paul – who re-joined United for a world-record transfer fee from Juventus in August – and the whole family will be watching at Old Trafford.

“I watched the draw and, when I saw who we got, my first reaction was: ‘Yes, that’s a dream that’s going to be fulfilled’,” Florentin told the Observer. “They will all be in the stadium watching, including [Sparta Rotterdam forward] Mathias, I think.

“The rules in the youth league we played in was that no player could play in an age group more than two years above his actual age no matter how good or big he was.

“Of course, we played together informally – there was a pitch just across from where we lived and we’d go there every day. At first, Paul played with the guys his own age, but soon that stopped being fun for him so he came to play with us.

“He was always excellent technically but he used to get pushed off the ball at the beginning because he wasn’t built like the older guys, but once he toughened up he thrived.

“We used to play every day and hope that one day all three of us would play together in a professional match. That was the biggest dream.

“We haven’t managed it yet but having two of us together on the pitch is already good.”

And, although Florentin and Paul will be opponents in this fixture, the Saint-Etienne man is proud of the achievements of both of his brothers.

“We are each others’ biggest supporters and I am proud of everything we have achieved,” he added. 

“We have all made a lot of sacrifices to become professionals.”

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