Paul Pogba ruled out of World Cup in new injury blow for France

Juventus midfielder's agent confirms hopes of playing in Qatar are now over

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France midfielder Paul Pogba will miss the World Cup in Qatar after suffering another injury setback.

It is thought the 29-year-old sustained a new thigh injury while undergoing rehabilitation on an existing knee problem that has meant he has not played a competitive game for Juventus since rejoining the Italian club in the summer.

Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri had already said on Friday that it was “very unlikely” that the 29-year-old midfielder would play for his team before Serie A breaks up for the World Cup.

Italian media reported earlier on Monday that Pogba could be out for around 15 days with the thigh injury.

“Following yesterday and today's medical review in Torino and Pittsburgh, it is extremely painful to inform [you that] Paul Pogba will still need recovery time from his surgery,” his agent Rafaela Pimenta said.

“For this reason, Paul will not be able to join the Juventus squad before the World Cup break nor the French national team in Qatar. If wishful thinking would change things, Paul would be playing tomorrow.”

Pogba was one of France's most influential players in their 2018 World Cup triumph, scoring in the victory over Croatia in the final as they lifted the trophy for a second time.

It means the French have now lost another key midfielder for the finals in the Middle East, with Chelsea's N'Golo Kante already ruled out after having an operation on a hamstring injury.

Pogba has not played for Juve since moving back to Italy from Manchester United, after damaging the meniscus in his right knee in July.

He initially elected not to go under the knife in a bid to make the Qatar tournament, which kicks off on November 20.

However, after returning to training early last month Pogba changed his mind and opted for surgery, which kept him on the sidelines until two weeks ago when he recommenced partial training with Juve.

Missing the World Cup is another blow in what has been a hard year for Pogba, who is also embroiled in an alleged extortion plot involving his own brother.

Updated: October 31, 2022, 5:46 PM
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