On Sunday, September 9, France beat Netherlands 2-1 in the Nations League. Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe scored the goals as the French side finally had a chance to celebrate its World Cup success with its home supporters. Manchester United’s Paul Pogba once again played well for his national side, before heading back to Manchester to prepare for a trip to Watford. Thank goodness the International Break is over, right?
After the game, our onsite Ronnie Dog Media journalist attempted to find his way into the press room for an interview. What he found was much better. Here is a transcript of what he found.
Two Pauls in a Hall
The match had just finished, and I was on my way to the press room to interview goal scorer Kylian Mbappe, when something caught my eye. Down the corridor, a figure lurked near a doorway, fidgeting with the lock. It seemed to be a man, physically fit, wearing a hooded tracksuit. I looked at the entrance to the press room, guarded by a burly security guard, grimacing at me out of the corner of his eye.
I decided to forgo the typical journalistic experience and investigate the hallway’s mystery man. Heck, a new and interesting story is worth millions in this industry now. I’m bemused as to why so many journalists prefer to write weird articles about Jose Mourinho, like how his breakfast routine is much less superior to Pep Guardiola’s. I digress.
At first, I figured I would approach the man and make casual chit-chat before asking him what he was doing. If I was friendly enough, maybe he would tell me about some elaborate French conspiracy that I could leak on our site. I was pulling at straws, I know, but you must take chances these days.
As I approached him I caught a glimpse of the man’s face from under his hood. It was Paul Pogba. I ducked behind a stack of boxes to find my composure before introducing myself to my idol. As I was ready to reveal myself I heard a click, followed by a door creaking open.
“Get out,” I heard Pogba say. I peered over the boxes to see the midfielder pulling another man out of a small broom closet. The man was dressed in the same outfit as Pogba.
Then Pogba began to speak again, “You know what to do. Just go out and have a bit of fun.”
The hooded man nodded, “Of course.”
Pogba then handed the man a ticket. At first, I couldn’t quite make out what it was for, but upon closer inspection, it read “CDG > MAN.” A ticket from Charles De Gaulle Airport to Manchester. Just go out and have a bit of fun? Was Pogba sending a close friend on a night out in Manchester perhaps? I had no idea.
Then the hooded man took off his hoodie. It was Paul Pogba. Wait, what? They were both Paul Pogba. I second guessed myself at first, but no, there was two of them.
I let out a loud gasp from my hiding spot and my cover had been compromised. Quickly I ducked back behind the boxes as both Pauls crept over to my location. There was nowhere to hide, nowhere to run.
Before the pair found me cowardly shaking behind my press pass, which was currently being used as a makeshift shield, another voice boomed from down the hallway.
“Hey, lads, are you ready?”
The accent was Italian. I could have guessed who the mystery man was, but my suspicions were proven correct as I turned to see Mino Raiola waddling down the hallway in my direction. He couldn’t see me, as I offer no monetary opportunity. The perfect camouflage.
As he passed the boxes, he placed a hand on each of the Paul Pogba’s shoulders. At this point, I couldn’t tell which one was the first Pogba.
“Remember, you’re not the real Paul Pogba,” he said turning to the one on the left, “you must do everything you can to orchestrate this move.”
I could only assume he was talking about the speculation of Paul Pogba moving to Barcelona. I was still very confused, but I started to make sense of it as Raiola continued to speak.
“When you’re living in stinking Manchester, earning this Pogba the big bucks, he will be soaking up the sun in the West Coast of Los Angeles. He will come back and visit in late October, so you can have a quick break then. If you do this for us, we will grant you your freedom.”
I figured it out, and it explains so much. Paul Pogba, a lover of luxury, couldn’t possibly live in Manchester. It couldn’t have been him playing for Manchester United this whole time, could it? It’s an awful place. So he had himself cloned.
The Pogba copycat would stay in Manchester playing games for the Red Devils, earning money for the real Pogba and his agent, while the Pogba enjoys his time on the beach. It explains his constant string of poor performances in for United. This new Pogba is still learning, still adapting to this mysterious world.
I know what you’re thinking! What about when Pogba does play well for Manchester United? Well, the real Pogba goes back and has a blinder every now and then to keep the interest from other teams up. That explains why Raiola said the real Pogba would be back in October.
There it is. I have solved the mystery. Paul Pogba doesn’t underperform for Manchester United. He just doesn’t actually play for them.
The trio walked down the hallway, their voices getting quieter and quieter. When there was nothing but silence, I made my way back to the press box. I debated whether or not to tell the world what I had seen. Nobody would believe me, would they? We’ll just have to wait and see.