Pending counter-analysis, Paul Pogba testing positive for testosterone may have put an end to his complicated football run. We examined his cases and those of other famous football talents who fell into the doping trap.
The rise and fall of Paul the Octopus
When Paul Pogba, then just 19 years old, arrived at Juventus in the summer of 2012, it was immediately obvious that his talent was absolutely extraordinary. The French midfielder, who came to the Bianconeri’s field on a free transfer from Manchester United and was a few minutes behind the Andrea Pirlo totem, closed the goal. First season with 37 appearances and 5 goalsWith this role, he gives the impression that he can be one of the most influential players in Europe.
The next season, 2013/2014, was his definitive season of consecration. 9 goals in 51 matches Antonio Conte’s main role at JuventusHe destroyed Serie A with 102 points, a record that remains unbeaten today. Pogba gave the impression that he was an unstoppable player in this team, a midfield model that had never been seen before.
Octopus showed that he can attack and defend without interruption, that he is a physical talent, that he can constantly enter the area, and that he can make a striking shot from a distance. A vision of gaming that is never banalon both long and narrow shots. At the end of his Italy experience, he will play 172 matches for Juventus and score 34 goals and 25 assists in all competitions.
In the summer of 2016, after the European Championship against France (albeit slightly below expectations), he was transferred to Manchester United; The transfer, worth 102 million euros, was the most expensive transfer at that time. The beginning of Pogba’s downward spiral. In fact, the return to the Reds coincides with the following period: series of very negative seasons The Frenchman is at Old Trafford despite having his best year yet, scoring 16 goals in 47 appearances in the 2018/2019 season.
From here the slope goes downwards. A. endless series of injuries They don’t allow him to gain continuity, Pogba looks lost, even when he comes on the field he is no longer the exuberant champion we admire, he is a bit of a lame panther, incapable of the shots he has hit so far. always distinguished him. Maybe accomplices in fights off the field (brother will be prosecuted for trying to blackmail him), Pogba disappears.
It is also for this reason that he has decided to return to Juventus in July 2022, also on a free transfer; He was happy here, having established himself as one of the purest talents of his generation; He was a child who seemed destined to inherit something. From Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo The wand of the best football player on the planet. It didn’t happen this way. In two seasons in Turin, Pogba made only 12 appearances until the last part: He tested positive for testosterone, recorded after an anti-doping test at the end of the Udinese-Juventus match last August.
Pogba, who has an existing contract worth €8 million net per season plus bonuses, has been suspended by the National Anti-Doping Tribunal and, if the positive test is confirmed, Juventus could decide to impose the suspension in addition to a lengthy disqualification. Terminate the deal linking the French midfielder to the Bianconeri Until June 2026.
Not just Pogba: other historic doping cases in football
Pogba’s positivity is perhaps the most extraordinary since Diego Armando Maradona in terms of player value, but it is certainly not the only positivity recorded in the Italian Serie A (and unfortunately will not be the only positivity). In chronological order, the José Luis Palomino case is the newest case. The Argentinian defender, who tested positive for Clostebol after a surprise test in July 2022, was acquitted after Anti-Doping accepted the penalty. unintentional contamination thesis.
In the field of accidental contamination, the positivity of Marco Borriello, who tested positive for prednisone and prednisolone, both cortisone, in 2007, but managed to get a result is historic. only three months disqualification According to the theory, it was accepted that the thing that “contaminated” him with the substance was the vaginal cream used by Belen, his girlfriend at the time.
Joao Pedro, who has been the symbol and captain of Cagliari for years, is today playing in Gremio on loan from Fenerbahçe. disqualified for six monthsBecause he tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide twice in May 2018, the national prosecutor’s office recommended a suspension of up to four years.
Going even further back in time, Edgar Davids was suspended for five months in 2001 for a positive testosterone test following the test taken at the end of the Udinese-Juventus match: interestingly, the same article and the same match also concerned Paul Pogba. Again, maybe some people don’t remember this, but at the same time Pep Guardiola was disqualified for dopingIn January 2002, after a year of defense for nandrolone, it was decided to impose a four-month ban.
Finally, it is worth remembering the positivity of Angelo Peruzzi, one of the cases that shocked the Italian football world the most. 18-year-old disqualified for one year For a positive test for Phentermine. Fortunately, his career was not damaged.