Paul Pogba says Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a ‘harsh’ leader at Manchester United (AMA/Getty)
Pogba returned to United in an £89 million deal from Juventus in 2016 and arrived at Old Trafford in the same summer as Ibrahimovic, who joined on a free transfer.
In their first season together at United, the pair helped the club win the Europa League and the EFL Cup under Jose Mourinho.
Pogba insists he appreciated a direct approach from Ibrahimovic at United but also believes the softer nature of Patrice Evra helped his progression with France’s national side.
‘I think there are different kinds of leaders,’ Pogba said in an interview with Al Jazeera.
‘Zlatan is a leader who is harsh and is strong.
Paul Pogba with Zlatan Ibrahimovic after Manchester United won the Europa League in 2017 (AFP via Getty)
‘With me I’m fine, like he could [say], ‘you played very badly yesterday, what were you doing? Go train today’.
‘So he’s a leader, he wants you to win, but he says it in a harsh way. Which I like it, some people like, some people don’t.
‘He can bring some people high up, but he can bring some people down. With Zlatan you need to be strong mentally. It’s like a [Michael] Jordan style, I would say.
‘Patrice Evra who was a leader with the national team and in Manchester who is totally different.
‘He comes and talks to you in a nice way, sometimes he can go hard on you but not all the time.
‘There are different kinds of leaders. There are some leaders who don’t really speak, but on the pitch they will always show you. An example I will give you here in Italy, [Andrea] Pirlo.
‘Pirlo was a leader. On the pitch, a big leader, he’s not someone who speaks a lot in the changing room, but on the pitch he gave you this confidence, this trust, he was a different kind of leader.’
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