Paul Pogba Opens Up On Brutal Effects Of COVID-19 On His Performances
Paul Pogba has revealed the long-lasting impact COVID-19 had on his performances, admitting "I couldn't run" in the first game of Manchester United's season.
The 27-year-old first tested positive for coronavirus in August but by the time of United's Premier League opener against Crystal Palace, Pogba was testing negative and had finished his spell in isolation.
However the midfielder has told MUTV how the draining effects of the virus stayed with him.
"It's strange, it's hard to explain because you wouldn't understand," Pogba said on Sunday. "Even in training, I would say to the fitness coach that I feel strange. It's not me. I get tired very fast and I'm out of breath really fast."
Pogba was substituted after 67 minutes in the game against Palace, which Man United eventually lost 3-1.
"The first game of the season, I couldn't run," Pogba reflected. "I was trying.
"I spoke with the manager: 'I will start the game and let's see.' But I was very out of breath and it took me a long time to get back to my fitness and to get back physically good."
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That it can take a while to fully recover from the effects of COVID-19 is well known. Pogba - a finely tuned athlete in the prime of his life - is not in a high-risk group, but clearly still found the recovery process a gruelling challenge.
Pogba's difficult 2020/21 season has also seen him struggle with an ankle injury. However he made his first start in over a month at West Ham on Saturday, scoring a spectacular equaliser that put his team on the path to a 3-1 victory.
"It's good to get back in the team, and to score this goal to help the team get back in the game," he told MUTV. "It's very important for the team, I'm very happy for that.
"It's such a difference. I'm finding my rhythm as well. I feel so much better, I felt I could go again, control the game, getting the ball. That's what I like, myself.
"That's what I think is good for the team. I'm a team player. As long as the team wins, that's the most important, you know? That's why I came here and that's why I want to be successful."
All imagery: PA Images
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