Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has claimed that Paul Pogba is the "best midfield player in the world" ahead of the Frenchman's second debut for the club.
Mourinho admitted that Pogba is not likely to break Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's dominance of the Ballon d'Or, but believes that the 23-year-old may be the best player in his position in world football.
"First of all, when you speak about the best players in the world you go immediately to the ones that score a lot of goals. You don't give a gold ball to a goalkeeper. They gave a gold ball to [Fabio] Cannavaro once but because in that season he was captain of Italy, they were world champions, and there were not too many top players. [Paolo] Maldini never got a gold ball, [Javier] Zanetti never got a gold ball, top goalkeepers over history don't get a gold ball. You look immediately to the ones that score a lot of goals," he told reporters.
"Can Paul score Ronaldo and Messi goals? Not even 25%. I believe in a season he cannot score 20 goals. If to be the best player in the world means to score a lot of goals, that's not the point.He is one of the best midfield players, maybe I could say the best midfield player in the world. I know Sir Alex tried everything to give him a new contract. The decision was made between the player, his entourage, his agent. The way it works for them was a great decision.
"But I think it's very important for the club not to be afraid to do what the club did. You lose a player, it doesn't mean if you have the chance to recover him, you don't recover him. Chelsea did the same mistake with [Nemanja] Matic and a few years later I pushed the club to do the deal. You did one mistake, why are you going to do the second mistake? You do the mistake only once."
Pogba has never scored more than 10 goals in a single season throughout his career.