fifahead:2014 World Cup Player Focus

fifahead Date: Jun/28/14 15:53:25 Views: 854

It came as a shock when it was announced that Premier League winner Samir Nasri would not be included in France's World Cup squad.

The midfielder was an important cog in the Manchester City side that won the league last season, but manager Didier Deschamps decided not to call-up the 26-year-old former Arsenal star.

With no Nasri and the recent announcement that Franck Ribery could miss the tournament with a niggling back injury, a large part of the French creativity will be absent in Brazil.

French fans do not need to resign to defeat just yet however, as their squad is one of the most exciting in the last ten years.

Eliaquim Mangala, Raphael Varane, Clement Grenier, Mathieu Valbuena, Antoine Griezmann and perhaps most importantly Paul Pogba have all had prolific season with their club sides and are constantly mentioned on the gossip pages.

For the latter it is a chance to justify his title as one of the most sought after players in Europe.

His side may have various players missing, but the 21-year-old has no shortage of confidence ahead of their first game against Honduras on June 15th: "I have made great progress this year. I played in a lot of games, which is something that I was not used to," said Pogba.

"I have gained a lot of experience and I am happy with myself."

For many of the French national team it will be their first experience of playing in a World Cup final.

Pogba though, enters this year's competition having already won a World Cup.

In 2013 Pogba was part of the France Under-20 World Cup side that beat Uruguay in the final and was named player of the tournament receiving the Golden Ball award for his performances.

Several clubs have already signalled their interest in the midfielder, whose position within the world game has risen dramatically since his controversial move from Manchester United to Juventus in 2012.

After his transfer to Juve, then Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson reacted to the move, claiming Pogba showed 'no respect' in regards to his decision to not sign a new contract with the Red Devils.

Prior to that, the French international was yet again subject of controversy when it was reported that United allegedly tapped up the teenager while still at Ligue 2 side Le Havre.

Life has been more enjoyable since then however and his performances in Serie A over the last two years have earned him the nickname Il Polpo Paul (Paul the Octopus) due to his long and rangy legs when running.

Skilful with the ball, powerful and with a tendency for the spectacular, the World Cup could make Pogba one of the most sought after commodities in football.

With a similar attributes to another great French footballer Patrick Vieira, Pogba could replicate the former Arsenal and Milan man in lifting the FIFA World Cup trophy come the final on July 13th.

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