After a glittering season for Juventus that saw him emerge as a standout talent, Paul Pogba will round off the campaign in style if he lifts the Under-20 World Cup tonight in Istanbul at 8pm (CET).
It might have seemed unlikely at the beginning of the tournament that France would reach their first ever final in the competition given that they finished third in their continental qualifier, but with Pogba as the skipper they have proved themselves a force to be reckoned with.
Les Bleuets are currently the tournament’s top scorers after putting four past both Turkey and Uzbekistan on the way to the final, and the Bianconeri midfielder himself got on the scoresheet against the latter.
Pogba has played well so far, scoring in the win against Uzbekistan, and France’s only loss of the tournament was a game for which he was suspended.
Uruguay needed a penalty shootout to beat Iraq in their semi-final, but are no less capable of winning the title. France will be particularly wary of their knack of snatching last-gasp goals, having struck late on against Nigeria, Iraq and Spain.
All the signs suggest that the game will be a close affair: Uruguay also finished third in their continental qualifier, and have a strong youth system. France undoubtedly possess future stars, but this is Uruguay’s second World Cup final in a row having reached the Under-17 climax in Mexico last year, and five of the players from that day remain in the squad for tonight’s fixture.