Mourinho and Madrid want Pogba
Euro 2016 hosts France kick-off the competition against Romania today. And with a good team too, although without Karim Benzema due to that ugly case of alleged extortion which hangs over him. Benzema has the world at his feet, but as they say, you can take the boy out of the bad neighborhood, but not the bad neighbourhood out of the boy. That’s what explains his absence from this European Championship played in his home country – a tournament which would have caught him at peak age and form. Florentino Perez hasn’t exactly seen it as an inconvenience for him to continue playing at Real Madrid though. All in all, it was a gamble that Benzema took and he’s chosen to stubbornly defend, not amend, the circumstances he finds himself in. France have left him out accordingly.
With the Real Madrid man missing, we can put our focus on Griezmann – Atléti’s star – and Paul Pogba, who could be this summer’s galáctico. Griezmann is a stupendous striker in a momentous moment of his career . Although he has just suffered one of those blows that very few players manage to fully get over: a missed penalty in the Champions League final. His answer was to expertly strike home a subsequent spot kick in the game’s dramatic, climactic shootout with precision and calm. In that instant he managed to immediately banish the ghost of the previous ill-fated 12-yarder. Such serenity reminded me of Sergio Ramos, who after skying his spot kick in the 2012 Champions League semi against Bayern, went on to “do a Panenka” against Portugal at the Euros later that summer. Goodbye ghost indeed.
All eyes at France - Romania will be on Pogba
Griezmann is a great player, yes, but in tonight’s opening game, all eyes will be on Pogba – the midfield maestro. The guy simply has everything, he scores, he passes, he dribbles, he cuts out play and orchestrates it too. A complete player, and one that Madrid have decided to make their primary objective this summer. Toni Kroos seems a bit too comfortable in the current Madrid midfield…could they play together leaving no place for Casemiro? We’ll soon see what happens. Firsty whether Real manage to sign him, of course, seeing as Juve have slapped a €120 million price tag on his head. There’ll be competition as well, namely Mourinho at Man United.
Whatever happens, we’ve the Euros to look forward to now. One that lacks Benzema, but also one that showcases talents like Griezmann and Pogba. Bring it on.