Antoine Griezmann says France are expecting big things from Paul Pogba, ahead of their World Cup opener against Australia on Saturday.
Pogba comes into the tournament on the back of another mixed season at Manchester United with critics still questioning the 25-year-old’s ability to impose his authority on matches on a consistent basis.
Griezmann, though, is convinced of the former Juventus midfielder’s ability and has backed him to show it in Russia.
He told FIFA.com: “We’re expecting big things from Paul – all his touches of brilliance and his long-range goals.
“We’re expecting him to get the crowd on their feet. There isn’t a leader in the side, but when Paul talks, everyone listens.”
Teenage striker Kylian Mbappe also hailed Pogba’s qualities and talked up his leadership skills.
The Paris Saint-Germain man said: “Paul is a creative player. He also makes his physical presence felt on the pitch and he’s a quality passer of the ball as well.
“He’s important. He’s a great player, and great players are always leaders. Wherever we go, he leads everyone, and you feel like following him too.”
After suffering disappointment on home soil two years ago when Les Bleus were beaten in the final of the European Championship by Portugal, Griezmann wants to go one better this time round.
“We just missed out on being champions at the Euros. The time has come for us to set the seal on everything we’ve done in these last four years,” added the Atletico Madrid forward, who on Thursday confirmed he would be staying at the Wanda Metropolitano next season after rebuffing interest from Barcelona.