I feel sorry for Pogba on a human level – Juventus’ Allegri

Juventus manager Max Allegri has said he is sorry on a human and footballing level for Paul Pogba after the France midfielder received a four-year ban for doping on Thursday from Italian authorities.

Allegri told a news conference before Juventus’ trip to Napoli on Sunday that he had contacted Pogba, who is under contract at the Turin club until June 2026, after hearing the news. The 2018 World Cup winner tested positive for testosterone after Juventus’ game against Udinese on Aug. 20, 2023, in which he was an unused substitute.

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“I wrote him a message two days ago,” Allegri said. “On a human level I’m very sorry, but also from a footballing point of view. This sport is losing an extraordinary and difficult to find player who I had the pleasure of coaching.

“On top of that, Paul is also a very good person.”

France men’s national team manager Didier Deschamps offered his support to Pogba on Thursday, saying he did not believe that the 30-year-old would have taken an illegal substance intentionally.

“I don’t imagine for a single moment that Paul had the intention, the desire, to take drugs. Knowing him well, I know that this is not at all in his state of mind,” Deschamps said.

“Just like the judgement announced by the Italian anti-doping tribunal on Thursday, what Paul has experienced these past months has been extremely difficult and I can’t be insensitive to his pain, given what he has done with the national team and the relationships that have been formed with the France national team.

“His situation saddens me and I really hope that things will work out… The presence of an illegal hormone is incontestable.”

Pogba confirmed on Thursday he will appeal against the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and insisted he has never knowingly taken banned substances.