The Italian believes that the Special One’s no nonsense approach with the midfielder has toughened him up since his return to Old Trafford
Jose Mourinho has helped Paul Pogba develop as a player during his time at Manchester United, insists former England manager Fabio Capello.
The World Cup winner has had a well-documented and tumultuous relationship with the Special One since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus in 2016, but the 72-year-old Italian believes that Mourinho’s management has done Pogba good.
Speaking to Italian newspaper La Stampa, Capello said: “It wasn’t easy for Pogba to get used to English football.
“He’d only experienced it at youth level. Today he’s more involved, and in that respect Mourinho’s jabs have helped him.”
Mourinho stripped Pogba of any captaincy duties earlier in the season after it was reported that the Frenchman had made clear his intentions to leave England for Barcelona in the near future.
The fallout led to a frosty training ground clash in front of TV cameras and a reminder from the manager that no player is bigger than the club.
Pogba will return to Turin on Wednesday to face his former club in the Champions League, with the last meeting between the two sides saw a lacklustre United performance punished, the match ending in a 1-0 win for Juve courtesy of a Paulo Dybala strike.
Looking ahead to the reverse fixture at the Allianz Stadium in mid-week, Capello said: “Manchester United can count on the structure of their team, the experience and the quality of their champions.
“United deserve the utmost respect and remain an opponent to be feared, but at Old Trafford Juventus impressed with their personality and conviction.”
Beyond Wednesday’s clash, the ex-Juve coach seems quietly confident of the Bianconeri’s chances of lifting the Champions League for the first time since 1996.
He said: “Are they favourites to win the competition? It’s early. What we can say is that Juventus have shown they’ve got a Champions League mentality, tackling the big European commitments with conviction and relaxation.”
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