The Europa League Round of 32 first-leg match between Manchester United and Saint-Etienne presents a nostalgic feeling as two brothers Paul Pogba and Florentin Pogba go head-to-head at Old Trafford on Thursday night.
At 23, Paul Pogba is the world’s most expensive footballer and has never had the opportunity of playing with or against any of his siblings in a competition game until now. This match will have the presence of everyone in the Pogba family watching and Paul's mother wants a draw, according to United's manager Jose Mourinho.Read Also | Bayern Munich vs Arsenal | Gunners must believe - Ballack
Saint-Etienne’s 26-year-old defender Florentin has a twin, Mathias Pogba, who is also a professional footballer, in the Dutch Eredivisie with Sparta Rotterdam.
“I watched the draw and when I saw who we got my reaction was: ‘Yes, that’s a dream that’s going to be fulfilled,’” Florentin said this week. His dream to play against Paul is shared by his whole family, too. “They will all be in the stadium watching, including Mathias, I think.”
“I may have to mark him. It may be Zlatan Ibrahimovic or another player but I think I will mark my brother. It seems more logical as I know him. I would do so as against any other player, with the same determination.”
Florentin was born in Conakry on 19 August 1990 and currently has 12 caps while Paul Pogba plays for the French national team.Route to Qualification
Saint-Etienne won Group C winners after finishing ahead of RSC Anderlecht, FSV Mainz 05 and Gabala SC while Manchester United came second in Group A with 12 points from 18, which was one fewer than Fenerbahce.
Both sides have met just once previously. The Red Devils squared up against Les Verts in the 1977/78 European Cup Winners' Cup and United progressed with a 3-1 aggregate win.
Interestingly, that game is memorable as the second leg at Old Trafford was moved to Plymouth Argyle’s Home Park, as a punishment for crowd trouble at the first leg in France. In the end, goals from Stuart Pearson and Steve Coppell secured the victory for Dave Sexton’s men.Managers QuoteJose Mourinho, Manchester United
“It’s a French club and they have quality,” he told MUTV immediately after the draw was made. “It’s a historical club; despite many years without titles, it’s a big club with big tradition. It’s the club where Michel Platini,
before he went to Italy, did amazingly well in an amazing team that was dominant in France in that period, so it’s a historical club. And the extra curiosity of a beautiful thing which is two brothers playing against each other.”
Christophe Galtier, Saint-Etienne
“For me, Manchester United is the biggest club in the world,” Galtier
says. “It’s like a mountain. Mont Blanc. Himalayas. Big, big gap between Manchester and us. But I have my plan. Our objective is to still have hope for the game here [the second leg].
“They will want to make the difference in the first game. They will want to finish it. I watch many games. It was difficult for them at the beginning of the season but now they are a strong team, a strong team physically as well, big, with a big organisation. As always with Mourinho. And Ibra is Ibra.”