Paul Pogba wants to be an impact player
Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba aims to make France forget the 2010 World Cup and leave his mark as an impact player.
"What happened just happened," Pogba told ESPN FC’s Gabriele Marcotti about the 2010 debacle. "You have to make people forget about this. We’re gonna try our best to make them forget this."
Pogba has already established himself in the France national team, and his dynamic midfield displays for Les Bleus have seen parallels drawn between himself and Vieira, who was part of France's 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000-winning squads. •Pogba 'flattered' by PSG link
But Pogba 21, who moved to Turin in 2012 after failing to break into the Manchester United first team, said he is determined to trace his own path and avoid comparison to Arsenal great Patrick Vieira.
"I want to be Paul Pogba, not Vieira, but I want to be better than him," Pogba told Marcotti. "It’s gonna be hard because Patrick Vieira is a top-class player and to become better than him I have to work hard."
France coach Didier Deschamps has been credited with renovating the squad after taking the reins from Laurent Blanc following France’s elimination by Spain at Euro 2012. France competes in Brazil in Group E with Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras.
"For the team, we have a very good group, we get on a lot outside the pitch and in the pitch. That is a good thing," Pogba told Marcotti. "We have a lot of young players, that is good, I think is a good mix. We could've picked (drawn) a lot of bigger teams, but World Cup is World Cup. If they qualified for the World Cup, that means they are good. The World Cup you never know who is gonna win. We have to play like we’re playing against Spain or Portugal or bigger team, you know? That’s what we have to do."
Pogba said he has a childhood memory of France winning the World Cup in 1998 when he was just aged 5.
"I remember because we were at home and we saw the final against Brazil and we all went out on the street, all happy," he said. "I remember that day. That’s the thing I remember of the World Cup."
Vieira, a three-time Premier League champion with Arsenal who left the Londoners in 2005 to join Juve, said Pogba is a more complete player than he was at the same stage of his career, which coincided with Pogba's early years in England.
"He's more technical and more at ease with the ball than I was at the same age," Vieira told beIN SPORTS.
"It's easier for him to go forward. I was more concerned with defensive duties. He's more attack-minded, and takes part more in the team's play."