Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba admits to being a fan of “special” Lionel Messi, with the Barcelona superstar having “football inside him”.
The mercurial Argentina continues to set the standard for the rest of the footballing world, with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo the only rival who can claim to get near him.
Pogba, who himself is an £89 million performer, considers Messi to be a unique talent who is capable of doing what nobody else can.
The France international told TyC Sports: “The first time I was with him was in the Champions League final [between Juventus and Barcelona in 2015], he was very small.
“Messi and football are two things that go together. I enjoy watching at him, he does things that nobody does.
“He has a stature that nobody has, something special for him, everything is special. He’s a player who has football inside him, who feels it, it’s incredible.”
Pogba admits that he has tried to model parts of his own game on Messi, with the Argentine one of several global superstars he sought inspiration from.
“When I was little I looked at [Zinedine] Zidane, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Messi. I had videos of [Diego] Maradona, Pele, Kaka, of many players,” said Pogba.
“I wanted to have all the virtues that those players had.
“Now, I look more at players like [Andres] Iniesta, Yaya Toure, also [Kevin] De Bruyne, who is young, [Luka] Modric, who is a very strong midfielder.”
Pogba has struggled to produce his best of late, with Jose Mourinho benching him at United.
The 25-year-old is, however, adamant that he is enjoying his football.
He added: “Happiness? For me the most important thing has always been health.
“I enjoy to win trophies and have a good time with my family. I lost my father recently, he was very important to me. Life is short, I want to live my life to the fullest.
“I know I talk like an older person and that I am just 25 years old but I have had friends that weren’t as lucky as me.
“Football? I love football, it’s my job. What else can I ask for?”