Paul Pogba is a born leader: Legendary Italy manager Marcello Lippi
The former World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi has lauded Pogba as a leader and a genius, and wants the Frenchman to realise his potential this season ahead of Juventus' title defence
Marcello Lippi has hailed Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba as a ‘born leader and a genius’ who is worthy of the No.10 shirt, according to Goal.com.
The former Italy manager and Juventus coach also tipped Roma and AC Milan to challenge for the Serie A this upcoming season, although he admitted that Juventus are clear favourites once again.
Pogba was an integral part of the Bianconeri line-up during their highly successful 2014-15 campaign, which saw them win the Copa Italia, Seria A and reach the finals of the UEFA Champions League. His future has been under a lot of speculation since the beginning of the transfer window in July with Barcelona publicly declaring their admiration for the Frenchman and announcing their interest in him, although their club president has since stated that ‘he was not part of their sporting plans for 2015-16’.
The 22-year-old will stay on for another season at least, and will begin this season as the team’s main man after receiving the club’s iconic number 10 shirt following Carlos Tevez’s departure to Boca Juniors.
Lippi believes that Pogba has shown his character by sticking with the Turin giants this season, backing the talented player to show off his full potential this season.
"Pogba is a born leader, and he deserves the No.10," he told Tuttosport. "By choosing to stay at Juventus, he showed his character.”
"Now he must confirm his leadership skills along with his genius, by dispensing with parts of his game that are needless, such as tricks that he does in some areas of the pitch."
Lippi expects Roma and AC Milan to challenge Juventus
The reigning Serie A Champions will get their title defence underway against Udinese next week and will be looking to make it four consecutive Scudettos despite losing the likes of Tevez, Pirlo and Vidal this summer. They have made some good signings in the market notably Sami Khedira and Mario Mandzukic, who are both seen as the kind of proper signings necessary to replace the calibre of players they have let go.
The 2006 World Cup winning coach feels that Juventus are still the favourites to retain the title this season after their transfer activity, but he also underlined the potential threats of Roma and AC Milan.
"Juventus have a clear direction and have made the right signings so they are still the favourites," he said. "They have been winning for four years so must be considered favourites.”
"Paulo Dybala is a player who combines technical brilliance with fantasy, and will be a perfect player once he strengthens from a physical aspect.”
He continued: "Still, Roma have substantially closed the gap with forwards like Edin Dzeko, Mohamed Salah to play alongside Francesco Totti and Juan Iturbe. Right behind Juve and Roma are Milan. Their team has been strengthened and they look more motivated under a coach like Sinisa Mihajlovic."