Manchester United star reveals how religion 'opened my mind'
French World Cup winner and Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has spoken of his Muslim faith and how it has helped to change his life.
The footballing superstar has made pilgrimages to Makkah in each of the last two years as well as visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi last month, posting images and videos of them all on his Instagram account.
He told The Times’ Life Times podcast: “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.”
The 26-year-old signed for Manchester United from Juventus in 2016 for a then- world record transfer fee of 105 million Euros – it remains the highest paid fee by an English club.
Last summer he scored in the World Cup final in Russia as France defeated Croatia 4-2 to lift the Jules Rimet trophy.
In the podcast, Pogba explains how he wasn’t born a Muslim, like his mother, but committed to his faith during difficult personal times.
He explained: “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. The meaning why you do it, you ask forgiveness and be thankful for everything you have, like my health and everything.”