Paul Pogba: France can win World Cup but need support from fans, media
Paul Pogba believes France have the potential to win the World Cup, but has told Telefoot the demanding French public need to support the team, not criticise them.
France will travel to Russia this summer as one of the favourites to win the tournament as coach Didier Deschamps boasts one of the strongest squads in the competition on paper.
Despite their potential, however, France limped through qualifying, losing in Sweden before being held to a surprise goalless draw at home to Luxembourg among a string of unconvincing performances.
Their recent 3-2 defeat in a friendly at home to Colombia -- a game in which France had led 2-0 -- has raised more question marks over the team's attitude, but Pogba remains confident he and his teammates have what it takes to claim their country's second second World Cup tournament win.
"Of course," said Pogba when asked if France have the potential to be World Cup winners. "We have the players, we have everything. It's not just the players, you need a team.
"We have a good team too, but we need to work still, by playing matches like that. Against strong teams we have very good results, but against the not so strong teams, it's been a bit more difficult. We have to learn from games like that.
"At the World Cup, it's going to be very, very difficult, everyone has to be ready for that. It's not because we're France that we're going to win every game 5-0."
Pogba has been one of the main targets for criticism from demanding local media and public. The Manchester United midfielder recently called on his compatriots to get behind the team, and he reiterated his call for unity and suggested French football journalists could also play a more positive role.
"In France, I think that people aren't behind the team enough. We have a great generation that is coming, we have very good players, but that doesn't mean we are certain to win," explained Pogba, who scored a goal and provided an assist in last week's 3-1 win over Russia.
"There are other countries that are very good too. We need support from everyone, instead of pushing everyone down. I think the mentality of the journalists needs to be more positive too.
"I don't look at [media coverage], they do their job, whether it's good or bad, we're on the pitch. If we play well and win, it'll be good, if we lose, they'll say we were bad. They do their jobs, we do ours."
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman