David Beckham and Paul Pogba don’t have a lot in common, other than a notable association with Manchester United, but the Frenchman nearly suffered a fate similar to that of the Three Lions favourite when he swung out a stray leg in the direction of Honduras’ Wilson Palacios.
Back in 1998, Becks was guilty of a similar sin during England’s second round encounter with Argentina, one that resulted in a straight red card for the midfielder and eventual defeat on penalties to the South Americans.
Pogba was more fortunate though with his kick-out on the Stoke City man, which was much more vicious than Beckham’s, going unpunished by referee Sandro Ricci.
The incident nevertheless served as a warning to both Pogba and France ahead of a World Cup sure to throw up plenty more in the way of heated confrontations between the players wilting in the hot Brazilian sun.
Speaking after the game, however, Les Bleus manager Didier Deschamps was keen to stress that the incident had been dealt with ‘in-house” with the youngster warned about any future incidents.
“He (Pogba) suffered a foul and there was a gesture of reaction…I did not warn him but (Yohan) Cabaye and (Patrice) Evra did, to tell him it was forbidden for us to finish with 10 men,” he said.
“We must have control, and that is not just relevant to Paul.”
Fresh from a second consecutive title-winning season in Italy with Juventus, Pogba has starred for the Bianconeri over the past two years and could be the subject of some transfer interest come the conclusion of the World Cup, with Real Madrid among those rumoured to be keeping an eye on him.
A goal against Switzerland could therefore help his chances no end, with the midfielder eager to add to an impressive catalogue of long-range strikes for his Serie A employers.
Available at a tempting 10/3 with Ladbrokes to score anytime, here’s hoping Pogba can add to his recent strike in a friendly win for Les Bleus against Norway, having found the net for France at six different levels growing up.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £100 in free bets.