Inside Paul Pogba's nightmare year after Man Utd exit with football future now uncertain

Paul Pogba Juventus

Paul Pogba moved to Juventus on a free transfer from Man Utd last year

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 12/09/2023

- 09:58

The France international has been provisionally suspended from playing

Back in the summer of 2022, Paul Pogba was dreaming of brighter and better days ahead.

Having left Manchester United following six turbulent years for a Hollywood homecoming at Juventus, the midfielder seemed content.

Pogba was meant to bring the glory days back to Juventus, a side that has drifted alarmingly towards mediocrity in recent years having formerly been the best team in Italy.

Fast-forward to now, however, and it's clear his second stint in Turin hasn't worked out.

Paul Pogba Man Utd

Paul Pogba was dreaming of better and brighter days when he left Man Utd for Juventus


On Monday, it emerged that Pogba had been provisonally suspended from playing football after a drugs test found elevated levels of testosterone in his system.

If found guilty, he could be banned for the next two to four years. Given he's now 30, retirement wouldn't then be too out of the question.

His representative, Rafaela Pimenta, insists the former United star never intended to break any rules.

"We are waiting for the counter analysis and until then we can't say anything," she told Sky Sports.

"The certain thing is that Paul Pogba never wanted to break the rules."

Ever since leaving United behind for Italy, Pogba's career has nosedived.

Scandal immediately greeted him in Turin after it was claimed he had used witchcraft to cast a spell on Kylian Mbappe.

Mathias Pogba, his brother, had sensationally made the allegation.

In the end, the 2018 World Cup winner admitted to paying a witchcraft doctor in an interview with French investigators.

He insisted it was for the sake of a humanitarian organisation that helps children in Africa, rather than Mbappe, and that his brother was blackmailing him.

Even earlier this week, before his suspension, Pogba revealed he had considered quitting football because of the trauma he had experienced.

"When there is money you have to be careful. Money changes people. It can break up a family. It can create a war.

"Sometimes I was just by myself thinking, 'I don't want to have money anymore. I just don't want to play anymore. I just want to be with normal people, so they will love me for me - not for the fame, not for the money.'

"Sometimes it's tough. This life, you have to go through it. It will only make me stronger."

Then there's the issues on the pitch, too.

Injuries had started to derail the midfielder's career at United, which is part of the reason they were happy to cut him loose just over 12 months ago.

In his first month at the club, however, he injured his knee and ended up missing the World Cup in Qatar last winter as France made the final in his absence.

Pogba would have to wait until February to finally make his second Juventus debut, coming on in a 4-2 victory over Torino.

However, almost immediately, there was another setback.

Pogba was dropped for a Europa League match for disciplinary reasons, having turned up late to a team dinner.


Paul Pogba Juventus

Paul Pogba's second stint at Juventus has been hugely disappointing


Four days after that, he was injured again. This time due to a muscle injury, which would rule him out of action for three weeks.

In May, he finally made his first start for Juventus. It would last all of 23 minutes, however, with another muscle injury forcing him to miss the rest of the season.

Pogba's statistics for last term read as 161 minutes, 10 appearances and just one assist.

It is now unclear what the future holds. The France international, widely considered to be one of the best players of his generation, is eager to clarify his failed drugs test.

If he can't, however, then his career in the sport could be over. It's been the year from hell - just after he thought he'd left the Devils behind.

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