Paul Pogba has been the victim of attempted blackmail from a group of his childhood friends that is bizarrely alleged to include his older brother, Mathias Pogba.
Mathias, whose own career as a professional footballer extended to spells at various lower league clubs throughout Europe, released a video on social media on over the weekend claiming he would start releasing stories about Paul and Rafaela Pimenta, the woman he refers to as his ‘business mom’ and featured heavily in the recent ‘Pogmentary’ on Amazon Prime Video.
“I’m announcing that I’ll soon be making big revelations about my brother, Paul Pogba, his lawyer, his friend and his confidante Rafaela Pimenta, who Paul calls his ‘second mother’ as if one wasn’t enough,” Mathias said.
“For those who don’t know me, I’m a professional footballer and the big brother of world champion Paul, who has joined Juventus after a disappointing spell at Manchester United.”
“I’m making this video today because I think that the French, Spanish, English, and Italian people, as well as fans of my brother, Juventus, the French national team, his teammates and his sponsors, deserve to know certain things so they can decide in full knowledge of the facts whether he really deserves the respect, admiration, and love of the public.
"If he deserves his place in the French squad, if he deserves to play in the World Cup if, he deserves to start for Juventus, if he is a person worthy of our confidence and whether he is worthy of being a role model for the youth.”
Lawyers representing Paul, his mother and Pimenta, released a statement.
“Mathias Pogba’s recent statements on social media are unfortunately no surprise,” it read.
“They are in addition to threats and group-organised extortion attempts against Paul Pogba. The competent bodies in Italy and France were seized a month ago and there will be no further comments in relation to the ongoing investigation.”
France Info has since revealed some of the shocking details, with allegations that Paul was threatened by childhood friends accompanied by masked men with assault rifles. The group tried to extort €13m from him and continued to intimidate him on other occasions. Pogba told police that he recognised his brother, a former Guinea international, among the suspects.
The first incident is reported to have happened in March during an international break when Pogba used the trip back to France to visit his family in Lagny-sur-Marne, the Paris suburb where he grew up. Paul is said to have been dragged into an apartment and accused of not financially helping his childhood friends since becoming a professional player. The demands of €13m were supposedly for discreetly ‘protecting’ him over the last 13 years since joining Manchester United at 16.
Paul is reported to have told authorities that he has remained close to his childhood friends and had never hesitated to financially help them when in need. But he is said to have stopped in January when a friend that had been staying with him allegedly used a credit card to steal €200,000 from him.
On the pitch, Pogba has had an injury-hit start to his second spell with Juventus. A pre-season knee injury is expected to keep him out of action until at least mid-September.