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Where is Paul Pogba? Why France star is not playing vs Morocco in World Cup semifinal

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France are still on track to defend their World Cup title at Qatar 2022, but face an almighty challenge with a semifinal clash against surprise packets Morocco. 

Les Bleus came into the tournament in mixed form and with a number of players ruled out through injury. 

Four years ago, midfielder Paul Pogba was front and centre of their World Cup glory as his on-field performances and off-pitch dabs turned heads around the globe. 

But this time around, the Juventus star is missing from a France team that once relied so heavily on him.

So where is Pogba and when could he return? 

MORE: England vs France prediction, odds, betting tips and best bets

Why is Paul Pogba not playing at the World Cup for France?

Pogba was ruled out of the 2022 World Cup completely in early November after failing to recover from knee surgery in time. 

The 29-year-old, who rejoined Juventus over the summer, injured his right knee in preseason and originally decided against an operation to keep his World Cup hopes alive. 

Surgery was, however, ultimately needed to fix his meniscus with Pogba yet to play a minute of football this season. 

Pogba is not in Qatar with the France team but is watching games closely from afar as he looks to get fit for 2023. 

How long is Paul Pogba out?

Pogba’s last match for club and country now dates back to April 19, 2022 when he played 10 minutes for Manchester United in a 4-0 loss to Liverpool. 

The midfielder missed the end of the 2021/22 season with a calf injury and ended up leaving Old Trafford as a free agent and signing for Juventus in July. 

Having had to sit out of the World Cup, Pogba is being backed to return to the pitch in early 2023 with Juventus not returning to competitive action until January 4. 

“I don’t want to speak for him. But in my opinion he is mentally absolutely ready, he has a great desire and a great desire to play,” Pogba’s agent Rafaela Pimenta told Tuttomercatoweb recently. 

“Physically? They all tell me that everything is fine there too, we will see him on the field as soon as possible.”

Who replaced Paul Pogba?

With both Pogba and N’Golo Kante ruled out of the World Cup, France had to call up some fresh faces to their squad. 

Midfielders Matteo Guendouzi and Jordan Veretout arguably made the side as a result of the duo’s absence. 

While on the pitch in Qatar, Adrien Rabiot and Aurelien Tchouameni have cemented themselves as Didier Deschamps preferred starters in midfield. 

Rabiot has been particularly impressive in Pogba’s absence picking up a goal and assist after four World Cup appearances. 

Paul Pogba contract, wages and transfer fee

Pogba rejoined Juventus on a four-year deal in July 2022. 

The Daily Mirror report that Pogba’s new contract at Juventus comes in at an estimated €8 million (£6.8m/$8.4m) annually over the duration of his stay. 

That would make his weekly wages around £131,000/$160,000 – less than half of his reported earnings at United.

Pogba starred for Juventus between 2012 and 2016 after signing for the Italian giants as a free agent from the Red Devils. 

The 29-year-old is yet to play for Juve since his return to the club with Massimiliano Allegri’s side currently sitting third in Serie A. 


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