ATK Mohun Bagan caught the Indian footballing world by storm as they announced the signing of the illustrious Guinean defender.
The Mariners had reportedly been involved with a “big name” for a large part of the transfer window as per various media reports. However, the same has now been unveiled as none other than French talisman Paul Pogba’s elder brother, Florentin Pogba. He last came into the spotlight in his former side Saint Etienne’s clash with his brothers’ former side Manchester United in the 2016-17 edition of the UEFA Europa League. Although the Red Devils went on to win the trophy, the meeting of the Pogba brothers was one of the highlights of the encounter. The Guinean centre-back was recently plying his trade with Ligue 2 side Sochaux-Montbeliard and his arrival was heralded by his younger brother who wished him all the best via his Instagram account. Pogba’s two-year deal with ATK Mohun Bagan verifies a statement of intent as Juan Ferrando aims to turn the side into direct title contenders.
Here’s what Florentin Pogba had to say after signing the contract that brings him to the Indian Super League for the upcoming seasons:
Congratulations on deciding to play in the Indian Super League! How do you feel after signing for India’s most prominent club?
Florentin Pogba: “I’m excited to play for the club! ATK Mohun-Bagan is a legacy club with a massive fan following and this is a proud moment for me personally. Wearing the jersey of this club means taking on a rich culture of football and I can’t wait to play wearing the same!”
How did you go about selecting ATK Mohun Bagan as the club for your first-ever stint in India?
Florentin Pogba: “I’ve come to take on a new challenge in India. It’ll give me the opportunity to learn about a new country, new championships, and new clubs that I feel I will come across. Most importantly, I’m going to represent one of Asia’s most decorated and prestigious clubs. That in itself is a huge honour for me!”
What are your views on Indian Football?
Florentin Pogba: “I have yet to learn a lot more about the Indian Super League. However, I have heard about Indian Football from legendary footballers like Nicolas Anelka and Robert Pires who plied their trade here. According to that, I think football is held in high regard and loved all over the country!”
You have experience playing in major professional leagues across the world. How hopeful are you of using that experience to help Mohun Bagan win trophies?
Florentin Pogba: “ I’ve always thanked God for allowing me to turn my passion into my profession. Football has taught me to confront various difficulties and succeed in the face of all adversities. My footballing experience in France, America, and Turkey has taught me how to be successful along with my teammates. I will give it my best to contribute whatever I have learned and help my club in winning trophies!”
Kolkata is a city of football. Seventy thousand fans demanding victory in an emotionally rousing atmosphere is a proper trial. How do you think you would deal with such a challenge?
Florentin Pogba: “ The audience and the supporters are the club’s heartbeat. We would love to move forward with their support. I’ve always loved playing in front of a packed stadium. Knowing that I will get the same here fills me with gratitude. I will wait patiently for my turn to play in front of the Green and Maroon fans!”
Any words for the Green and Maroon fans?
Florentin Pogba: “I’m proud to call myself a Mariner now. I give you my word that I shall not leave any stone unturned in the path to victory so that we can bring joy to the hearts of our supporters!”
Juan Ferrando on Florentin Pogba:
“Pogba is a focussed footballer and he always gives his best on the pitch. He continuously tries to prove himself by putting himself outside his area of comfort.
He can build from the back and pass the ball into the forwards’ trajectory to help them score. His defensive awareness and game reading abilities help him understand the opponent’s game plan and stop attacks in time.”