Paul Pogba has taunted Manchester United’s empty-handed rivals following Jose Mourinho’s haul of three trophies last season.
United were widely criticised for their perceived lack of style and entertainment during Mourinho’s first campaign in charge at Old Trafford.
The Reds ended up in sixth place, their second-worst finish in the Premier League era – and a massive 24 points behind champions Chelsea, who sacked Mourinho the previous term.
But United did win the Community Shield, EFL Cup and Europa League, the latter crucial triumph handing them automatic entry into the 2017-18 Champions League.
Against that backdrop, United’s world record £89.3million signing Pogba has come out fighting, goading their competitors by claiming nobody remembers the teams who win nothing.
Of United’s immediate rivals, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham failed to lift silverware last season – with Pogba happy to remind them of his side’s treble haul.
He said: “I accept that we didn’t play well, we didn’t do this, we didn’t do that.
“I know what we did – we won three trophies. That’s all I know. And that’s all that matters.
“Because you can be the best team in the world, you can play great football and you win zero trophies. And who remembers them? No-one. Right?”
The 24-year France international endured a difficult first season back at United following his record-breaking switch from Juventus in August.
Much was expected of him following the huge fee United were forced to pay to bring him back to Old Trafford, having let him escape for nothing four years earlier.
Pogba divided opinion back in a United shirt with many feeling the powerhouse midfielder should have delivered more, given his exorbitant price tag.
But Pogba insists he was not burdened by the fortune invested in him and revealed he and his mother felt it was his destiny to return to Manchester and pull on the famous red shirt again.
“After one week, I forgot about the fee,” he said.
“It’s people that reminded me.
“Because, at the end of the day, when you die, the most expensive and less expensive, they go in the same grave.
“So I don’t even think about it. I left Manchester to play. That’s all I wanted. Even though I was young, I felt I could play now and I didn’t want to wait. So if it wasn’t with Manchester it would be with someone else.
“But in my mind, I knew, ‘It’s not finished, I might come back’. My mum told me this, ‘You’ll come back one day’.
“And here I am – having a haircut in Manchester!”
Pogba, who scored United’s opener in their 2-0 Europa League final win over Ajax in Stockholm in May, lost his father less than a fortnight earlier and revealed how the loss affected him.
“When you lose someone you love, you don’t think the same way,” he said.
“And that’s why I say I enjoy life, because it goes very fast.
“I remember when I was talking to my dad and now he’s not here.
“My dad was a very strong man, very stubborn as well. He fought, but at his age it’s not easy.
“No, he was a very good man, a very good dad and I’m proud to be his son.
“He was one of the funniest guys ever, so funny. Every time you had time with him you were laughing. Very clever as well, because he was a professor. You have to remember the happy things.”
Pogba, a Muslim, also revealed his sadness at the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London.
“It’s a very difficult moment but you cannot give up,” he said.
“We can’t let them get in our heads – we have to fight for it. Sad things happen in life but you cannot stop living.
“You cannot kill a human being. To kill a human being… it’s something crazy, so I don’t want to put religion on it. This is not Islam and everybody knows that. I won’t be the only one saying that.”
- Pogba was speaking to Esquire magazine. The July/August issue is out today and also available as a digital edition