Doping scandal effectively ends World Cup champion Paul Pogba's career

The French footballer who last played for Juventus was hit with a four-year suspension

When tested back in August, Paul Pogba was found to have elevated levels of testosterone.
When tested back in August, Paul Pogba was found to have elevated levels of testosterone. / Insidefoto/GettyImages

Paul Pogba is back in the global headlines after being handed a four-year ban from all footballing activities.

The World Cup champion has not played for Italian giants Juventus since the September announcement that an Aug. 20, 2023, blood test revealed high levels of testosterone.

Pogba was suspended by Italian officials while additional tests were conducted. In October, tests on the second sample confirmed the initial results. The appeals process followed and Italy's national anti-doping (NADO Italia) tribunal began weighing the evidence while prosecutors requested a maximum four-year ban.

The 30-year-old last the field against Empoli on Sept. 3, 2023, a game that ended in a 2-0 Juventus victory. Pogba played just 28 minutes in that game. He has been kept off the pitch since that date.

Pogba's career

Born on March 15, 1993, Pogba's journey to football stardom began in the youth ranks of clubs like US Roissy-en-Brie and Le Havre. His talent truly flourished after arriving at Manchester United's prestigious academy. He made his senior club debut for the Red Devils in 2011, showcasing remarkable versatility, athleticism, and technical ability, skills that earned him acclaim as one of the premier midfielders in the game.

His meteoric rise led him to Juventus in Serie A, where he further solidified his reputation as a midfield maestro. During his first tour in Italy, Pogba flourished, earning widespread admiration for his commanding performances. He won four Serie A titles with Juventus (2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16). He also won the Golden Boy Award in 2013.

In 2016, he made a triumphant return to Manchester United on a record-breaking transfer deal (€105.00 million), reclaiming his status as a key figure in the club's midfield. In the 2016/17 season, Manchester United secured victory in the UEFA Europa League final against Ajax thanks to a commanding 2-0 win. The breakthrough in the final came in the 18th minute with a goal from Pogba, setting the tone for United's dominant performance.

In a surprise move, Pogba made a dramatic return to Juventus in 2022, rejoining the club where he had enjoyed such tremendous success. His return came on a free transfer, sparking excitement among fans and signaling a new chapter in his storied career.

Internationally, Pogba has been crucial for the French national team, playing a key role in its triumphant 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign. His blend of technical skill, physical prowess, and tactical acumen has made him an indispensable asset for both club and country.

Future in question

Throughout last season, the 2018 World Cup titleholder faced significant challenges with knee and hamstring injuries, resulting in minimal playing time. Knee surgery prevented him from joining France in its title defense at the Qatar World Cup.

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While Italian media were reporting that Pogba has decided to retire, the midfielder has not announced that yet. If Pogba were to attempt to return in 2028, he'd be stepping onto the pitch at the age of 34.