Sunday June 17 2018
Raiola: 'French criticise heroes'

Agent Mino Raiola feels Alphonse Areola, Paul Pogba and Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi are excessively criticised in France.

With the World Cup in full swing, Raiola spoke to RMC Sport about some of his clients in the news, including Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper and Napoli target Areola.

“I think that Areola is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He has improved a lot and showed PSG what he can do. He has a great future ahead of him.

“We will see what happens. For the moment, I don’t like to talk about the transfer market when there are players at the World Cup, because I know they only want to focus on one thing. The rest can wait.”

France won their opening game of the tournament, scraping past Australia 2-1, but Pogba’s goal was later turned into an own goal by FIFA.

“Paul confirmed once again what a great player he is and the importance he has in the team. He is a true ambassador for France,” continued Raiola.

“France ought to be proud to have him in the side and not always criticise, but then the French do love to criticise their heroes and it’s not just Pogba.

“I also think Matuidi coming off the bench changed the game and the whole energy of the team, as he is a winner and an amazing guy. That’s how he conquered Juventus and Italy too.

“I don’t know why the Coach decided to leave him out of the starting XI, but he came on and everyone saw what he could do. I’m proud of him.

“I think in France they don’t like heroes, as there is so much envy and jealousy. I don’t see why they are criticised so much when they can write football history.

“Pogba in particular always stays positive, works hard and has nothing to prove. He does what the Coach wants and is a perfect ambassador on and off the field.

“France have the quality and strength in depth to win the World Cup. If the media can be a little more positive, that won’t hurt.”

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