Jurgen Klopp has compared Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba to Diego Maradona, Usain Bolt and Barcelona.
Pogba joined Manchester United in a world-record £89.3million move from Juventus earlier this summer, and has already impressed in the heart of Jose Mourinho’s midfield.
The 23-year-old was signed on August 9, and despite featuring heavily at Euro 2016 for finalists France has completed a full 90 minutes in two out of three games for United already this season.
Klopp believes that that is what sets Pogba, Maradona, Barcelona and even perennial Olympic and World Championship gold medalist sprinter Bolt apart from the rest.
“This summer was the first Olympic Games I did not see too much,” he told the Daily Mail. “The timings were just wrong for our pre-season.
“Usually, I watch everything. The slow horse-riding, anything. I have no idea what they are doing, but I like it. I like each kind of sport, every kind of challenge, these people who train so hard for four years and then it all comes down to a matter of seconds. Everything. And it all has to go right; Usain Bolt, every time, it has to be right. That’s not just about being quick: three times in a row, 12 years, always right.
“That’s not just talent. In my managerial career, I learned some of the best players have a physical ability you cannot train. A better base: they don’t fall. It’s not that they work 500 per cent harder. They might have a little bit of that, but it’s more complex.
“We all saw Paul Pogba. He was here, he was there, selfie, selfie, 9,000 of them, all summer. And then he comes to Manchester United has, what, two training sessions, and plays 90 minutes against Southampton. You think, how?
“They’re different. Diego Maradona was different. He never really trained. He would warm up with his shoes undone. I saw him playing in Stuttgart with Napoli when I was 21. Watching him warm up, I could not close my mouth. It was so low intensity. He was walking. And then he went and outplayed the whole stadium. Unbelievable.
“Barcelona are like that. They play all over, they go to so many places they don’t know where they are.”