Manchester United star Paul Pogba names his three sporting inspirations

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Paul Pogba has revealed the three athletes he draws inspiration from ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League semi-final against Roma. Pogba is set to start for United at Old Trafford tonight as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side look to take a big step towards next month’s final.

With Manchester City 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League, the Europa League represents United’s only chance of silverware this season.

United will be confident of overcoming Roma, who are seventh in Serie A and have failed to win any of their last three league games.

The Red Devils haven’t lost at home in a European semi-final since April 1997, winning four and drawing three of their last seven such games and Pogba will be hoping to help extend that run at 8pm tonight.

The French midfielder has been in decent form recently, contributing four assists in his last six matches in all competitions and he will be looking to reach another final, where United would face the winner of Arsenal and Villarreal.

In doing so, the World Cup winner can draw inspiration from some of the world’s greatest and most successful athletes, with Pogba a huge fan of American sport.

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“Tom Brady was just an example to really show people that, despite his age, he was still up to the challenge,” he told UEFA.

“He changed franchises but still won, which means that it’s possible to do so; wanted to show people that you could still succeed after changing clubs. He never gives up.”

Brady moved from New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year and the 43-year-old led the franchise to their second Super Bowl title in his first season in February.

At the time, Pogba tweeted: “With determination, you can achieve anything. Put your mind to being the best you can be and everything is possible. Let this be a lesson to everyone. Congrats @TomBrady and @Buccaneers on achieving your goals!”

Pogba is also a fan of a certain Chicago Bulls basketball player.

“I have another example of a personal inspiration for me: Michael Jordan,” Pogba added.

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“I think that most of us already know his story, and his leadership and work ethic really have been an inspiration to me.

“You also have to be selfish, so to speak, because you have to be at least a little bit selfish and think of yourself in order to be the best. That means that, after a training session, if your friends call you to go out, you need to think of yourself, refuse it and go and train more instead.

“You want to take the last shots, like [Michael Jordan] did, and you always want to win. That requires extraordinary mental strength, and it’s a great source of inspiration for me.

“Muhammad Ali is also an inspiration for me. In his day, he was one of the youngest heavyweights – just like Mike Tyson after him – to be crowned world champion. All of those people are inspirations because of their daily work ethic.

“They push themselves. They might fall or lose, but they keep going, they come back stronger and they never give up. That’s important to me.”

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