Racist abuse ‘only makes me stronger’ says Pogba

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (L) vies with Crystal Palace's French-born Ghanaian striker Jordan Ayew (R) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 24, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 25 August 2019
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Racist abuse ‘only makes me stronger’ says Pogba

  • Pogba was the target of racial slurs on Twitter when his penalty was saved by Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio
  • The 26-year-old insists he will use the jibes as fuel to step up the fight against racists

LONDON: Paul Pogba says he is ready to fight against racist abuse after the Manchester United star and his team-mate Marcus Rashford were subjected to social media taunts following their penalty misses.
Pogba was the target of racial slurs on Twitter when his penalty was saved by Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio in Monday’s 1-1 draw.
Then United striker Rashford suffered racist abuse online after hitting the post with a penalty in Saturday’s shock 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace.
Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham and Reading’s Yakou Meite were also recently targeted by social media trolled and World Cup winner Pogba has had enough.

The 26-year-old insists he will use the jibes as fuel to step up the fight against racists.
“My ancestors and my parents suffered for my generation to be free today, to work, to take the bus, to play football,” Pogba wrote on his Instagram account on Sunday.
“Racist insults are ignorance and can only make me stronger and motivate me to fight for the next generation.”
During the Palace match at Old Trafford, United fans unveiled a banner reading ‘United against racism’.
Rashford had tweeted in support of Pogba after the Wolves games, saying: “Enough now, this needs to stop Twitter. Manchester United is a family. Paul Pogba is a huge part of that family. You attack him you attack us all.”
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer condemned both incidents involving his players.
The Premier League club are believed to be planning talks with Twitter chiefs in a bid to resolve the problem.
Anti-discrimination campaigners Kick It Out have also called for “decisive action.”


Di Maria scores 2 as PSG beats Madrid in Champions League

Updated 19 September 2019

Di Maria scores 2 as PSG beats Madrid in Champions League

  • Di Maria doubled the advantage when he struck again in the 33rd minute, found this time by Gueye

PARIS: No Neymar. No Kylian Mbappe. No problem.
With two first-half goals from Angel Di Maria and a rare late strike from right-back Thomas Meunier, a new-look Paris Saint-Germain missing its headline stars brushed aside a flat Real Madrid 3-0 in the Champions League to go top of Group A in an impressive start to its European campaign on Wednesday. 
Di Maria, a Champions League winner with Madrid in 2014, was rampant against his former club, using phenomenal speed and clever placing to torment a Madrid defense sorely missing the suspended Sergio Ramos.
The Argentine's first goal poked past Thibaut Courtois' near post in the 14th minute was his 25th in 100 European matches.
Some of PSG's new recruits were instrumental in the victory. Idrissa Gueye, bought from Everton, bossed the midfield.
Di Maria's opener originated with Mauro Icardi, a late loan-signing from Inter Milan. He linked up smartly with left-back Juan Bernat, who then found Di Maria in space in the box with a swift cut-back pass.
Di Maria doubled the advantage when he struck again in the 33rd minute, found this time by Gueye.
Di Maria caressed a pinpoint shot with his left foot from long range past the outstretched Courtois and celebrated enthusiastically as Paris fans lit red flares.
Gareth Bale thought he'd got a goal back moments later with a sweet volley over former Madrid teammate Keylor Navas, bought by Paris to provide added assurance behind the suffocating PSG defense that snuffed out Madrid at the Parc des Princes.
But referee Anthony Taylor spotted on video replay that the Wales winger had touched the ball with his right arm as he juggled it from his left foot to his right one before shooting.
Meunier's goal in second-half injury time was only his sixth in 48 European matches. Bernat's pass set up the strike. Up in the posh seats, the suspended Neymar and Mbappe, recovering from injury, chuckled together at the sight of the full-backs combining to score. Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane scowled.
Zidane lamented the lack of urgency from his side that had zero shots on target other than Bale's disallowed goal and another disallowed for offside in the second half.
"It was a weird sensation," he said, speaking through a translator. "We hardly ever got into the match."
Zidane refrained from singling out any player, saying "it's everybody's fault when we lose."
But James Rodriguez, back from Bayern Munich, was particularly ineffective. And Eden Hazard, bought from Chelsea, looked ring-rusty as he makes his way back from injury. A trademark dribble in the PSG area in the second half ended with Hazard tripping over himself and landing on his backside.
Zidane replaced them both with 20 minutes to play.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel, on the other hand, had no problem singling out Gueye for praise. He clicked with Marco Verratti and the deeper-lying Marquinhos in the PSG midfield that purred as if they'd played together for years.
"He's a machine. He never stops, never stops running," Tuchel said. "Against a team like Madrid, that is super-important."
Tuchel suggested the absence of Neymar, Mbappe and PSG's record scorer Edinson Cavani, also recovering from injury, may have been a help rather than a hindrance.
Without them, outside observers figured PSG was unlikely to win, and that eased pressure on Tuchel's other players, the coach said.
When Neymar has served out the rest of his two-match ban, and Mbappe and Cavani are fit again, expectations will quickly rise in the wake of this humbling of Madrid that showed the strength in depth of PSG's expensively assembled team.
But PSG knows from bitter experience how hard the road will become in the Champions League, having failed to get beyond the quarterfinals since the club's wealthy Qatari owners took over in 2011.
Tuchel was eager to tamp down any buzz.
"If someone asks me if we are going to win the Champions League, I'm leaving," he said.