Paul Pogba has suggested that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are partly to blame for the criticism that continues to come his way at Manchester United.
Despite being a World Cup winner and a player proven at the very highest level, the France international has seen his contribution at Old Trafford questioned on a regular basis.
He has recorded a new personal best in terms of goals this season, with the target found 16 times across all competitions.
Pogba has also registered 11 assists, but his future is the subject of much speculation amid ongoing concerns regarding his consistency.
The 26-year-old believes his contribution would have been lauded not all that long ago, with the exploits of star turns at Barcelona and Juventus pushing expectation levels up for everybody else.
Pogba told Icon Magazine: “Football has changed a lot. I grew up watching the exploits of great champions, real legends like [Alessandro] Del Piero, [Luis] Figo, [Francesco] Totti and many others.
“All have been champions, the best in the world, but perhaps many of them did not achieve more than 20 goals per season.
“Now the data, the statistics, the numbers, often seem to have become the only parameter of judgment.
“Messi and Ronaldo have shown in recent years: doing what they did, maintaining those stats – that is the exception, not the norm.”