Belfast Telegraph

No brotherly love as Pogba boys go head to head

By Mark Critchley

Florentin Pogba knows it will wind up his younger brother Paul if he and his Saint-Étienne team-mates are able to get the better of Manchester United.

The siblings will meet twice in the space of a week, with the first leg at Old Trafford tomorrow, as their respective clubs compete for a place in the Europa League's last-16.

Florentin, a 26-year-old centre-back, will come up against Paul, the world's most expensive footballer, for the first time in his career and he believes that if United go a goal behind, his brother could unsurprisingly become quite bad-tempered.

"He is not letting it [being the world's most expensive footballer] bother him," he said.

"He's just playing his football, even though everything he does gets three or four times more attention, good or bad. He can handle all of that because of the mental strength he has had since his youth.

"He is quite irritable though, he doesn't like to lose," Florentin revealed.

"His head starts buzzing when he loses. I learned to lose and I would say that you're not losing but learning. But for him, when he loses, he goes mad."

The two brothers and Florentin's twin, Mathias, grew up playing football together in the Paris suburb of Roissy-en-Brie before all going on to become professional footballers.

Speaking about how he felt when the draw was made last December, Florentin said: "We [St Etienne] were drawn first and they [Manchester United] came out of the hat second. We had a laugh and said: 'The day has come. We're going to face each other on the pitch, rather than on our neighbourhood mini-pitch'.

"It's incredible, a one-off, so we're going to make the most of it... who will my twin brother Mathias support? He will support his brothers.

"These two games will be emotional and I hope we'll take something positive from them. Even if United are a great club, anything is possible in football. The fact they're better than us on paper doesn't matter.

"We'll always be behind him. He knows what it's like in our family.

"Whether he has a good game or a bad game, we'll always be there for him. He can win all the trophies in the world, he'll still be my little brother."

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