Manchester United star Paul Pogba opens up on becoming a Muslim

‘I prayed once with my friends and I felt different. I felt really good. It makes me a better person’: After returning from pilgrimage to Mecca, Paul Pogba opens up on becoming a Muslim and why he turned to religion

  • Paul Pogba has revealed the reasons why he became a Muslim in his twenties
  • The midfielder was ‘questioning’ himself and decided to join friends in prayer
  • Pogba recently made a pilgrimage to Mecca during the holy month of Ramadan 
  • The France star says practising Islam has helped him become a better person  

Paul Pogba has revealed that he was ‘questioning myself over a lot of things’ before turning to Islam and becoming ‘more peaceful inside’.

The Manchester United star, who last month made a pilgrimage to Mecca during the holy month of Ramadan, wasn’t born a Muslim despite his mother’s faith.

But after going through a difficult period, Pogba decided to research the religion and follow a number of his friends by practising Islam.

Paul Pogba (left) recently paid a visit to Mecca with Kurt Zouma during the month of Ramadan

Pogba, who is a target for Real Madrid, was speaking to The Times’ new Life Times podcast

The Manchester United midfielder points to the sky during a game with Crystal Palace in 2017

The midfielder, who remains a transfer target for Real Madrid this summer, credits the decision with helping to make him a better person.

Asked what being a Muslim meant to him in The Times’ new Life Times podcast, Pogba said: ‘It’s everything. That’s what makes me thankful for everything. 

‘It made me change, realise things in life. I guess, maybe, it makes me more peaceful inside. 

‘It was a good change in my life because I wasn’t born a Muslim, even if my mum was. I just grew up like that, respect for everyone. 

‘Islam is not the image that everyone sees – terrorism… What we hear in the media is really something else, it’s something beautiful. 

‘You get to know it. Anybody can find that he feels connected with Islam.’

After completing a disappointing season with United, Pogba – along with Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma – made the pilgrimage to Mecca last month.

Once a year, more than two million Muslims make the journey, known as Hajj, to stand before the holy building of the Kaaba in Saudi Arabia and praise Allah.

Pogba poses with Chelsea defender Zouma and a group of friends during their pilgrimage

Thousands of Muslim worshippers stand around the Kaaba during the pilgrimage to Mecca

The France midfielder struggled as his side were beaten 2-0 by Turkey on Saturday evening

Pogba’s most recent visit to Mecca was not his first, but it remains a far cry from the lively visits to Los Angeles he enjoyed with Romelu Lukaku in both 2016 and 2017.  

Asked why he decided to become a Muslim in his twenties, the France midfielder who doesn’t drink and now has a baby with girlfriend Maria Salaues, admitted that he turned to religion helped him focus. 

‘It came because I have a lot of friends who are Muslim. We always talk. 

‘I was questioning myself in a lot of things, then I started doing my own research. I prayed once with my friends and I felt something different. I felt really good. 

‘Since that day I just carried on. You have to pray five times a day, that’s one of the pillars of Islam. It’s something that you do. 

Pogba enjoyed holidays to Los Angeles with Romelu Lukaku in the summers of 2016 and 2017

Pogba poses with his girlfriend Maria Salaues, mother Yeo and his firstborn child in Abu Dhabi

Pogba took to Instagram to share a message with his Muslim followers around the world

‘The meaning why you do it – you ask forgiveness and be thankful for everything you have, like my health and everything. 

‘It’s really a religion that opened my mind and that makes me, maybe, a better person. You think more about the afterlife. 

‘This life has a test. Like when I’m with you, here. Even if you’re not a Muslim, you are a normal human. You have a human relationship and respect you for who you are, what religion you are, what colour and everything. 

‘Islam is just this – respect of the humanity and everything.’ 


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