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Pogba's bid for home glory ends in anonymity; nothing to justify hype of world record transfer fee reports as host nation falters at final hurdle.

IT was heartbreak for France and Paul Pogba in Paris last night as Portugal upset the hosts to win Euro 2016.

Pogba went into the game amid reports of a world-record breaking PS100million return to Manchester United, the club he left on a free transfer in 2011.

Here, we look at the Juventus midfielder's ultimately disappointing performance at the Stade de France.

ATTACKING Pogba was hardly involved from an attacking perspective, which was unusual. He lumbered forward for set-pieces but never threatened. The 23-yearold did manage an effort at goal though, a dipping half-volley from 25 yards out which flew some way over the crossbar early in the second half.

It says it all that his moment of the match came in the 100th minute when, during the first period of extra time, he showed some nifty footwork to beat Raphael Guerreiro and get into the penalty area to win a corner.

DEFENDING Pogba played as the holding midfielder, which is not his most effective position. He mopped up the odd loose ball but rarely made an incisive pass or break forward once winning possession, often opting to pass backwards to a defender. He was booked in the second period of extra time for dragging down Joao Mario from behind when asked to do his first real piece of defending.

LINK-UP PLAY Pogba strolled around seemingly content to take the ball from his defenders and make sideways passes. It was not until the midway point of the second half that he attempted to spray the odd long pass to a winger looking to get in behind the Portugal defence, which coincided with the introduction of Kingsley Coman from the bench.

OVERALL IMPACT Pogba was largely anonymous and failed to impose himself on the game at all, playing in the shadow of midfield team-mate Moussa Sissoko who, by contrast, produced the kind of display usually associated with Pogba.

The Juventus midfielder played too deep, highlighting that he is not a natural playmaker, and at times looked like he did not know his role in the team - particularly after Ronaldo went off and Portugal put another man in midfield to change to a 4-5-1 formation.

It was not a great final, or indeed tournament, for Pogba as perhaps he struggled to live up to expectations. Based on his showings at the European Championships, a world-record transfer fee does not seem at all justified.

CAPTION(S):

Paul Pogba hides under his shirt after the defeat

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Jul 11, 2016
Words:412
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