France coach Didier Deschamps hailed Paul Pogba’s performance for their World Cup semifinal triumph over Belgium.
Pogba, whose defensive instincts have been regularly questioned, dropped back into his own area to shadow Manchester United teammate Marouane Fellaini a number of times but also created openings for Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann in a disciplined display.
“All players need to be mentioned but it’s true that Pogba was almost everywhere, not only in attack but he was also efficient in defence,” Deschamps said at his post-match press conference.
“I think [Belgium coach Roberto] Martinez had decided to put Fellaini on him so Fellaini was only worried about Pogba, so of course he (Pogba) had less freedom on the ball. But he knew what to do.
“He left very little waste. He was more creative in terms of recovery of the ball, one-on-ones, he performed very well.
“Paul has grown in the team, he is a very expressive player. He knows what he has to do and what he does on the pitch can only increase his legitimacy in the group.”