Paul Pogba scooped the 30th edition of the ‘Castagna d’Oro’, an award handed out by one of the most historic Bianconeri supporters’ organisations, Juventus Club Mottarone, at this evening’s ceremony in Baveno.
Following in the illustrious footsteps of fellow Frenchmen Michel Platini (the first ever player to receive the accolade) and David Trezeguet, Pogba was down on the west shore of Lago Maggiore to receive his award in person, joined at the event by club CEO Giuseppe Marotta and team-mate Fernando Llorente.
Paying tribute to the Ballon d’Or nominee’s talents, Marotta began: “Pogba is a young player who improves with every game. He still needs to find consistency, but he possesses innate qualities that make him regarded as one of the most interesting players in the world.
“I believe he can join his fellow countrymen in making history with Juventus. If we take into account the performances he’s turned in and appearances made with club and country, I think he’s got a glorious career ahead of him, just like his predecessors.”
When asked about the events of last night, Marotta admitted the late penalty miss served as a disappointment but was quick to steer the discussion back on to the positives of an all-round team triumph.
“The cherry on the cake was missing, but we can’t forget our players’ terrific performance, the manager’s great focus and above all the support of our fans who truly represented our twelfth man on the pitch.”
The microphone was then passed to the award winner who expressed his satisfaction at the way his career continues to blossom in the black and white stripes.
Pogba said; “I’m happy with how everything’s going and I need to keep producing more of the same. I consider myself a part of the Juventus collective, not a top player, and I’m happy here. I’ve renewed my contract and I love it when I play and put on the Juventus shirt.”
An inevitable question on yesterday’s Champions League success was also posed to the matchwinner, who said he felt entirely at ease in the new midfield role handed to him by Massimiliano Allegri for the visit of the Greek side.
“I’m fine wherever I’m deployed and always happy when I play football. The new system didn’t change anything as far as I’m concerned, we played well and we’re all happy with the win.”
The final word belonged to another influential performer in yesterday’s triumph, with Llorente describing games like last night’s as a “dream” for footballers to be involved in.
He added: “I’m happy with how things panned out yesterday as we couldn’t slip up. The team reacted in spectacular fashion. There was so much at stake and us players dream of nights like these. It will remain in everyone’s memories because it was truly wonderful.”