England legend Wayne Rooney believes that Paul Pogba would have been the player of the tournament had France not been eliminated in the very first round of the knockout stages. Les Blues’ were eliminated in shocking circumstances after they lost a penalty shootout to Switzerland in the round of 16.
With France walking into Euro 2020 as the reigning World champions and one of the favourites to lift the trophy, many expected Les Blues’ to make it all the way to the final. However, they crashed out in the round of 16 to Switzerland after a dramatic penalty shootout with Kylian Mbappe’s decisive kick saved by Yann Sommer. That defeat shocked many and it saw Didier Deschamps’ side eliminated in the very first round of the knockout stages.
Yet despite that, there were praises for Paul Pogba’s performances with the Manchester United midfielder thriving at the heart of the French midfield. It saw even Wayne Rooney admit that the midfielder could have walked away with the player of the tournament award had France not been eliminated. Rooney also added he fancied France to lift Euro 2020 and them getting knocked out was a massive disappointment for many fans.
“Like a lot of people, I fancied the French to be champions and as a team they were a massive disappointment. That was a particular shame for Paul Pogba. He had been the player of the tournament until they went out,” Rooney wrote in his column for The Sunday Times.
“The passes [he] played for Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe were incredible. It helped him to have N’Golo Kante as his midfield partner but I think the biggest reason that Paul’s performances were so good was his positioning.
“He was playing deeper than we normally see him for Manchester United and this meant that he was able to pick the ball up in areas of the pitch where he had the time and room to pick a pass.”