Cristiano Ronaldo should be an example for Paul Pogba to follow, according to Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand.
Pogba continues to come in for criticism at Old Trafford due to a perceived lack of end product to his game, particularly in light of his performances for France at Russia 2018. He has been accused of being more concerned by his image than his football, and while the 25-year-old has been linked with a move to Barcelona, Ferdinand certainly does not think his career at Old Trafford is on the rocks.
Indeed, he compared the ex-Juventus ace to Ronaldo, who developed his game with the Red Devils and refined himself into a player who would go on to win five Ballons d’Or.
The Portuguese is, according to Ferdinand, the example that Pogba must now follow.
“Cristiano came as what we called a showpony, all the stepovers, looking good for the fans,” he told ESPN. “He left the best player in the world, who lived and died by the end product. Goals and assists.
“But that's down to intelligence, Ronaldo worked it out, actually: ‘That's good that the people love me for that, but what's going to get me there, to the top of the mountain. I need to adjust my game.’ And he left as the best player in the world.
“So Paul Pogba can look at that as something to learn from there as well. What do I really need to do to make myself the best midfielder on this planet?
“He's got an ego, that's not hard to see on social media, this boy's got an ego, wants to be looked at and talked about as the best player. There's a hunger and desire for that, with that comes a work ethic.”
Ferdinand did, however, suggest that manager Jose Mourinho has a role to play in getting the best from the player by fielding him in his strongest position.
“I think that's been the problem so far, they've not been able to work out what's best for Paul Pogba in the Man United team,” the 2008 Champions League winner said. “Should he be playing in a deeper, reserved position? Should he be playing on the edge of all the attacks, assisting, providing chances, etc? Where is he best in this team?”
Pogba is expected to play a central role when United take on Young Boys in the Champions League this week, their first European outing of the season after five Premier League matches.