Soccer

Pogba picks out two players as ‘football’s future’ but overlooks Haaland

Paul Pogba has pinpointed Manchester United teammate Marcus Rashford and France colleague Kylian Mbappe as the "future of football".

The United midfielder was once considered the rising star of the game but has struggled to fulfil his potential at club level, despite playing a pivotal role in his country's 2018 World Cup win.

Mbappe was the star of the show in that triumph and his upwards trajectory has only continued since as he helped Paris Saint-Germain to the Champions League final last season before missing out narrowly this time round.

The 22-year-old was left on the bench for PSG's semi-final second leg defeat to Man City on Wednesday having been nursing an injury in the days leading up to the clash.

Meanwhile Rashford, 23, has had a quietly impressive campaign, netting 20 goals so far in all competitions for United to follow on from his outstanding work off the field in tackling the UK's child hunger crisis.

Speaking in a Q&A with United Review, Pogba said: "They are two big, big, big talents. I think they are so young and so talented.

"They achieved so much for their young age. I think they are the present and the future of football."

Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Man City's Phil Foden are also emerging as the next bright lights of the game as the stars of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo gradually begin to fade.

It was Foden who had the last laugh over Haaland in the last round of the Champions League, and it was him again who came out on top in the battle with Mbappe as City dumped out PSG to reach the final for the first time in the club's history.

Rio Ferdinand was in no two minds about the future of football after witnessing City's 2-0 win at the Etihad.

"At the moment I would say Phil Foden is the best young player in the world right now on form," Ferdinand told BT Sport. " Haaland is yet to play at this level. In terms of this moment, Foden is the best on form."

While Pogba named the present and future, he was also quizzed on the best of his nation's past, and picked out Real Madrid's current manager.

"This is a tough question!" he said. "Maybe I would say, and it is my opinion, and it would be because of my generation also, I might say Zinedine Zidane.

"It’s because of my generation that is who I see and all that. There are other names obviously – Henry, Platini, Jean-Pierre Papin – many, many icons, top-class players. But, from my generation, I would say Zinedine Zidane."

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