Following the announcement that Paul Pogba is getting a long suspension for doping, many believe this will be the end of the 30-year-old’s career as a footballer.

There’s been a fair bit of nostalgia when looking back at some of his performances for Juventus and Manchester United, with little hope that he’ll be able to show that level once again in four years time if his appeal fails.

As outlet Il Bianconero today shares some quotes from pundit Alessandro Matri on DAZN, there are some words on Pogba and his time with the Red Devils.

The former Juventus player pointed out that the Frenchman’s time at Manchester United was harmed by José Mourinho, who couldn’t get the best version of the midfielder.

“In my opinion, he was the first great athletic player. He looked like a basketball player: he mixed elevation and power with technique, which was rarely seen at that time. For me he suffered a lot from Mourinho’s presence at Manchester United. In Manchester, the €100m for his return was talked about a lot.

“Mourinho approached him a bit like Pellegrini, first he made him feel important and then he went against him. I was talking to Pogba, and to return to Manchester United and win back his people was his dream.

“He was not ready to be challenged by such an important manager. He may look like a player with great personality, but in reality he is very playful. I’m not talking about footballing personality: as long as he plays football, he dominates, but if he is challenged, he suffers, because he is a sensitive guy.”

Matri also claims that Pogba never really recovered from that period, and even if playing today, he wouldn’t have managed to return to his best level.

Pogba is now expected to be suspended until September 2027, although he’s still likely to present an appeal against the decision. The former Manchester United star will be 34 by then, unless he manages to get the penalty reduced.