Eduardo Camavinga Paul Pogba GFX

'I'm inspired by Pogba' - France wonderkid Camavinga hails influence of Man Utd star

France national team midfielder Eduardo Camavinga has said he is inspired by Paul Pogba after the Rennes starlet received his first international call-up.

Camavinga, 17, has made a major impression at a young age and has been rewarded with a call to France's senior squad ahead of their Nations League matches against Sweden and Croatia. 

Pogba helped France to the 2018 World Cup title, scoring in the final against Croatia. The Manchester United midfielder will not have the chance to play alongside Camavinga this window, however, after testing positive for Covid-19.

Article continues below

Camavinga, who has been compared to Pogba, said the 27-year-old is a major influence for him after leading his country to international football's biggest prize.

"I'm inspired by Paul Pogba," Camavinga said. "He's a very good player with great qualities. He proved it in the French team, just look what he did: world champion. But I don't really like comparisons."

In addition to Pogba, Camavinga said he is also an admirer of another World Cup-winner who scored in the 2018 final against Croatia.

"Kylian [Mbappe] has set the bar very high, but it's a source of inspiration for all young players for sure," Camavinga said of the PSG forward.

The teenager added that his rapid rise has seen him achieve a dream he's had since he was a child — though he acknowledged that he is not very far removed from his childhood.

"It's a childhood dream, even though I'm still a child," Camavinga said. "It would be fabulous for me, for my family [to start against Sweden or Croatia]. It was important to them that I represent my country, it was important for me too. It's something I've wanted since I was a kid.

"I had a very good reception [from my France team-mates]. The meeting with the players was very good. Everyone has been cool with me and I hope it will continue."

Camavinga has started the 2020-21 campaign in strong fashion for Rennes, scoring in Saturday’s 2-1 victory at home to Montpellier.

Amid strong links to Real Madrid, Camavinga insisted last month that he would remain with Rennes for the duration of the season.