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Soccer | Feb 29

Paul Pogba: The Prince That Couldn’t Become King

The 30-Year-Old French International Received a 4-Year Ban After Testing Positive for Testosterone

Paul Pogba: The Prince That Couldn’t Become King
Juventus' French midfielder Paul Pogba | Isabella BONOTTO / AFP

So Much Potential 😓

His power is a given, but what made him stand out was his class, composure, and dribbling skills…

Paul Pogba’s career has been a roller coaster. From being a prodigy in the Red Devils to becoming the most expensive midfielder in soccer history, winning the World Cup with France, and even being blackmailed by his brother. Now, Pogba has been suspended for 4 years after testing positive for doping.

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Pogba’s Prime Will Not Be Forgotten

Besides being in the soccer news spotlight for all the wrong reasons, the Frenchman actually had some memorable career highs. In his 4 years with Juventus, Pogba won 4 Serie A, 2 Coppa Italia, and 3 Italian Super Cups. Besides having 9 titles to back up his iconic spell in Juventus, stats don’t do justice to the special talent that he showed during his early 20s in soccer games.

For those with Dory’s memory, Pogba was part of one of the most dominant mid-fields in modern history alongside legends Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, and Claudio Marchisio. A core that led the Bianconeri to an iconic UEFA Champions League run, defeating Real Madrid in the semis but losing to primetime Barcelona in a heartbreaking finale.

Pogba has always been an entertainer on the field. Standing at 6’3″, his power is a given, but what made him stand out was his class, composure, and dribbling skills. After establishing himself as a young star, Manchester United decided to amend their huge 2012 mistake and bought him for a staggering $116M fee from la Vecchia Signora (the Old Woman). He was 24 years old, had experience, and years of greatness ahead, what could have gone wrong?

Definition of a Freefall

The Frenchman left Old Trafford as a kid but came back as a grown man. The expectations were high af, but injuries overwhelmed his undeniable raw talent. Pogba played 154 games with the Red Devils, where he scored 29 goals in 6 years. In 2016 we saw the last glimpse of prime Pogba, leading his team to win the Europa League under the special one, Jose Mourinho.

Huge expectations and injuries haunted Pogba in his highly anticipated return to Man U, but with France, he was a different breed. Pogba was a key part of Deschamps’ system and in 2018 played a big part in winning the World Cup with his home country. If you ask Pogba what his greatest accomplishment was, winning the World Cup of 2018 with France is at the top of the list.

Not the Happy Ending You’d Expect

Pogba’s redemption spell with the Red Devils ended in 2022 when he came back to Juventus hoping to revamp his career. When Pogba was regaining form, news broke that his brother, Mathias, had been blackmailing him for months. This was a huge blow for a player who always was a family-first type of man. After months of legal disputes, Mathias ended up in jail for attempting to extort $13M from his little brother. Talk about bad blood.

Pogba’s horror story doesn’t end there. In October of 2023, soccer rumors confirmed that Pogba was being suspended for doping. An investigation opened up and a possible 4-6 years ban was in the mix.

The investigation concluded on February 29th. News broke that the 30-year-old was officially being suspended from all soccer activities for 4 years after testing positive for testosterone–a prohibited substance.

With the soccer world in shock, Pogba released a statement on social media making his case: “When I am free of legal restrictions the full story will become clear, but I have never knowingly or deliberately taken any supplements that violate anti-doping regulations.”

 

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A post shared by Paul Labile Pogba (@paulpogba)

The Frenchman is still “young” and planning to appeal the suspension, but it doesn’t look good for the player who will always be remembered as the “Prince that Couldn’t Become King”.

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