"Sometimes to be a Muslim is not easy" - Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba explains why Muhammad Ali is his inspiration

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba speaks on Muhammad Ali's influence
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba speaks on Muhammad Ali's influence

In an incredibly revealing interview, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba explained the difficulties of being a Muslim at 18-years-old, as well as the influence Muhammad Ali has had on his life.

The Red Devils recently announced that the 29-year-old will leave Old Trafford on a free transfer for the second time in his career when his contract expires this summer, following six unsuccessful seasons in English football.

During an interview with UNINTERRUPTED, the World Cup winner explained the influence Ali has had on his life and how the boxer, who is widely-considered the greatest sportsman of all time, helped him become a better Muslim.

Pogba stated:

"I have Muhammad Ali for me as an inspiration and example. He converted to Islam. I converted to Islam also. I was 18 and sometimes to be a Muslim is not easy."

He added:

"But you just try to show the example of Muslim people in sport and just in real life that it's not what we can see. Sometimes in the media, we're just normal people also and we try to follow our religion the best way we can and give just a smile, give like good deeds to people, do well, do nice things and try to help the world the way that the previous people that they used to do they just try to follow that."

Ali was a three-time heavyweight boxing champion and his outspoken views on religion and the Vietnam war made him and hero and inspiration to millions around the world.

Pogba "needs to enjoy" playing football again following Manchester United departure

It's fair to say that the French international midfielder did not live up to expectations upon his return to Manchester United following his then-world-record move from Juventus in 2016.

Sky Sports have reported that the playmaker is mulling over offers from Juventus, Real Madrid and PSG, but Pogba insists he needs to get back to enjoying what he does best.

Pogba claimed (as per The Manchester Evening News):

"I just want the best for me. I’m thinking, putting everything together, take my time, and I’m just looking for the best, I want to play football, be myself always, and enjoy what I do."

The departing Manchester United player added:

"I need to enjoy what I do because otherwise I cannot perform well. I don’t want to be thinking negatively. We can be losing games, trophies but you have to be happy and enjoy yourself - that’s what I’m looking for."

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Edited by Diptanil
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