Manchester United’s in-form striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic says team-mate Paul Pogba needs to learn to relish pressure like he does to reach his full potential.
The sublimely talented midfielder has been one of United’s best players this season, but a horrific performance in United’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford has raised further questions about the Frenchman’s big-game temperament, having been accused of going missing in big games for former club Juventus as well as with France in the Euro 2016 final against Portugal.
But while Ibrahimovic believes Pogba remains one of the world’s best players, he said that he must turn pressure into his motivation to scale the greatest heights.
“Pressure is something I enjoy,” Ibrahimovic said.
“I don’t know Paul personally to be able to answer that for him. But I think he likes it also because, without pressure, we would not be on our toes at the top level.
“If you want to play at the top, pressure is 24 hours, and if you play well or better the pressure becomes even greater.
“So it’s something that we learn from and something we have to handle because we belong to the top, Paul belongs to the top absolutely and the pressure will be there.”
Ibrahimovic also offered his thoughts on the Liverpool game and said that Pogba was not allowed to display his vast array of talents because of the dirty nature of the game.
“For Paul [on Sunday] the game was different. It was a dirty game, in the way we had to play more direct, by jumping over the midfield because the pressure Liverpool put on us was hard,” he said.
“It was difficult. The first game against them was the same. The guys told me every game we play against Liverpool looks like this.”