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Inside France's World Cup ceremony

France
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France's Paul Pogba: I purposely kept hairstyle 'low key' at World Cup

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop and Alejandro Moreno laud Kylian Mbappe's maturity and leadership following his performance against the Netherlands.
Olivier Giroud ended his goal drought in style, scoring the game-winning volley to propel France past the Netherlands.
France's Paul Pogba admits he found the short break between the World Cup and the Premier League season tough, physically and is cautious he doesn't get injured.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley would like to see Paul Pogba talking more with his play than with the media as his soap opera with Jose Mourinho continues.

Paul Pogba has revealed he reined in his flamboyant hairstyles while playing for France during the World Cup to avoid giving his critics ammunition.

Renowned -- and often criticised -- for his hairstyles, Pogba said he had followed the advice of 1998 World Cup winner Lilian Thuram to keep his mind focused on the pitch, not his appearance.

"A haircut does not prevent you from talking, but I purposely did nothing, to stay low key," the 25-year-old told RMC. "Like that, I wasn't going to hear excuses about my haircut.

"We are going to stay focused. Talk about football, talk about the pitch, talk about performances. People say I'm a leader ... I will never say that, you have to show it on the pitch."

Pogba's apparently relaxed attitude to life and his job has been an almost constant source of criticism but he admitted a smile is never far from his face; and, as his World Cup showed, he can take up a leadership role within the dressing-room.

"There are moments when I laugh, I joke around, I love dancing," the former Juventus midfielder said. "I like to enjoy my life, but I can also be serious when I have to be serious.

"If I can help the squad by speaking at times like that, I do it. The World Cup is important, you had to show maturity."

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