Paul Pogba was at the centre of tension between France’s players during their Euro 2020 exit to Switzerland this week, according to reports.
The pre-tournament favourites looked on course to secure a place in the quarter-final after Pogba’s brilliant long-range strike had put them 3-1 ahead.
But two late goals from Switzerland forced extra time and then penalties, while Kylian Mbappe missed the decisive spot kick to send France crashing out of the competition.
According to L’Equipe, Pogba was involved in an ‘altercation’ with France teammate Adrien Rabiot during the game, while the Manchester United midfielder was also criticised by France’s right-back Benjamin Pavard for his lack of defensive work as Les Blues attempted to close out the game.
‘On the pitch, it was crazy,’ L’Equipe journalist Sebastien Tarrago, who was at the stadium for the match, told L’Equipe du Soir.
‘They insulted each other very often. Pogba was at the centre of the game. There was notably an altercation with Rabiot. During the tournament, we saw all the great sides of Pogba. But personally I felt he was catastrophic defensively throughout the Euros.
‘Pavard was reprimanded by [Raphael] Varane. He [Pavard] replied, ‘you’re right but I’m all alone and Pogba doesn’t give a damn’. Varane then went to tell Pogba, who then asked Pavard if he had a problem with him. And this all happened during the match.’
It was also claimed that there was tension between Pogba and Deschamps, with the France coach keen for his side to see the game out with a 3-1 lead.
‘For a while, there were even tensions between Paul Pogba and the coach because they didn’t quite agree tactically,’ said Tarrago.
‘Deschamps requested for the team to be secure to keep the result at 3-1. But the midfielder thought he had to keep attacking. In short, this meeting was very tense and from all points of view.’
‘Fortunately, the families did not react too much but it was very complicated.’
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