Additional reporting by AFP.
“The present has arrived,” said Paul Pogba on Wednesday, confirming he had given all his France team-mates world champion rings modelled on those in many American sports.
“We handed them out to the players, the reaction was good, they thanked me,” Pogba told a press conference at France’s training centre.
“It’s a small gesture after winning a World Cup with great players. I consider them my family. It’s a small gift from me.”
Earlier on Wednesday France midfielder Blaise Matuidi tweeted a photo showing him and Pogba holding the boxes containing the enormous rings.
“Unforgettable present for an unforgettable memory. Thanks from the bottom of my heart to the jeweller @paulpogba.” Matuidi wrote.
Pogba said he had already made a similar gesture when he left Juventus, where he won four straight Serie A titles, for Manchester United.
“I made a small gift to the players when I left,” he said.
“It was a small gesture to thank them for the trophies, because we do not play alone, we never win on our own,” he added.
Pogba hatched the plan with Antoine Griezmann, a fan of American basketball, where championship rings, which originated in baseball, are common.
“A World Cup you do not win it alone, the players were there behind me, they supported me” and despite “criticism”, the group remained “bonded”, Pogba said.
“A small gesture like that is nothing because a World Cup is for life, this ring you can lose, but the World Cup you do not lose that,” he said.
In pictures: Pogba’s diamond ring gift
Matuidi included the picture below in his Tweet, thanking Pogba.
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