Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has said he thinks Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a complete player and Barcelona’s Neymar is the future.
Ibrahimovic is set to return for Sunday’s crunch clash against Liverpool after illness and the team are now finding their feet under Jose Mourinho after a mixed start to the season.
Pogba admitted he plays well with Ibrahimovic. As a duo, they have created the most chances for each other — 25 goal scoring opportunities.
“We get on a lot. I try to adapt to him and his movements. I think he tries to adapt to me as well. I’m more adapting than he is because he’s the striker and makes the movements,” speaking withe the press Pogba also said “He can hold it, he is a complete striker. He helps the team a lot.”
Reminded that Ibrahimovic said the two had a good relationship “because he talks and you [Pogba] listen,” the France international said: “If he gives me advice, I listen to him. If I give him advice, I don’t know if he’ll listen! He’s someone with a lot of experience, so any advice he can give me is good. He’s played at Barca, Milan, Juventus — he’s played with big players. He only wants the best for me.”
Pogba said that Neymar brings joy to the game.
“The future you can see Neymar, he’s young,” he said. “Neymar is the future. He’s the present and the future. A player who makes you enjoy. You know I’m a player, but when I look at him I see him enjoy his football. This guy is the man because of his skills, it’s like he’s dancing. He’s scoring goals, he’s assisting he plays for himself, but he also plays for everyone.”
The 23-year-old remained humble, saying that he doesn’t put himself in the category of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo when asked which young players would earn the top awards in the future.
“No I don’t put myself up there. I just play. People say that about me, but I won’t say that about myself,” he said. “The future you can see Neymar, he’s young. Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Borussia Dortmund’s Marco] Reus. So many young players who can replace them. You never know. But after a season you can get injured for 6, or 12 months. You never know what’s going to happen.”
United face Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, knowing that they can cut the gap behind the Merseyside club to two points by winning.
“It’s a big derby,” he said. “You can feel the pressure, the atmosphere with the fans and everyone. We must be prepared for this game. When I was 18 we were playing I didn’t expect this from such a young age. You play this derby like it’s a final. It’s a great game to play you just have to enjoy it.
“We’re always aiming higher. You never get tired of getting better and working harder. I’m happy where I am, but that’s not enough. I want to carry on and become one of the best midfielders in the world — and keep doing this for 10 years because otherwise one to two years, it’s not enough.”
Ibrahimovic recently joked with Sky Sports that he is taking free kick duty back after Pogba hit the post against Hull in the EFL Cup midweek.
“I don’t know,” Pogba said of the miss. “The luck is not going my way in the moment. But I’m creating chances. I’m just happy we’re winning and that I’ve scored goals already. If I can get more goals I’d be even happier.”