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Graeme Souness vs. Paul Pogba: How do their trophy hauls compare?

To mark Graeme Souness's 67th birthday, Sports Mole looks at how the Liverpool legend stacks up against Paul Pogba, of whom he has been a regular critic.

Paul Pogba's second spell at Manchester United has been an underwhelming one, with the Frenchman failing to live up to most expectations since being made the world's most expensive player.

The 27-year-old cost United £89m to bring back from Juventus in 2016, just four years after he had left for a nominal compensation fee.

During that four-year spell Pogba established himself as one of the most dominant midfield players in European football, but he has struggled to replicate that form on a consistent basis back at Old Trafford.

The France international has been limited to 143 appearances, including only eight this year, scoring 31 goals and assisting 31 more.

One particularly vociferous critic of Pogba during that time has been pundit Graeme Souness - a man eminently qualified to discuss masterful midfield displays.

Pogba eventually hit back at the Liverpool legend by claiming that he "didn't know" who he was, prompting Souness to lay down a firm challenge to the United man - "put your medals on the table".

Well, here - to celebrate Souness's 67th birthday - Sports Mole has done exactly that to see how the pair compare beyond their war of words.



WORLD CUPS

France midfielder Paul Pogba kisses the World Cup trophy in 2018© Reuters

There is only one winner here - Paul Pogba was an integral and inspirational member of the France squad at the last World Cup in Russia, capping off his impact at the tournament with a goal in the final as Les Bleus lifted the biggest prize in football for the first time since 1998.

Souness, in fairness, was dealt a more difficult hand hailing from Scotland, although they did boast some world-class players of their own in those days. The moustachioed hard man played in three World Cups - 1978, 1982 and 1986 - but Scotland failed to get past the first round in any of them.

VERDICT: Pogba 1-0 Souness



DOMESTIC LEAGUE TITLES

Graeme Souness pictured next to the Premier League trophy© Reuters

Souness helped Middlesbrough to the Second Division title before securing a move to Liverpool, but it was at Anfield where his main success came as a pivotal member of Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan's all conquering sides.

The Scot won five top-flight titles in the space of six seasons with Liverpool, including three in a row between 1981 and 1984. Souness then added a sixth title in the Scottish Premiership with Rangers in 1986-87, when he was player-manager.

Pogba has also enjoyed huge success in this area, with Juventus even more dominant domestically in the 2010s than Liverpool were in the 1970s and 1980s. However, he has failed to add to the four in a row he won with the Old Lady between 2012 and 2016, meaning that he trails Souness in this category.

VERDICT: Pogba 4-6 Souness



DOMESTIC CUPS

PP of MNU celebrates with the EFL Cup / League Cup trophy in 2017© Reuters

You can argue amongst yourselves as to the merit of each individual domestic trophy, but whatever way you look at it, Souness wins this category.

Surprisingly neither have laid their hands on the FA Cup - although Pogba of course still has time to change that - but both have lifted the Italian equivalent, Souness doing so in his debut season with Sampdoria and Pogba lifting it in his last two seasons at Juventus.

Souness's triumph made it four seasons in a row in which he had won a domestic cup, having been part of the Liverpool team for three of their four League Cup triumphs on the bounce in the early 1980s. The elder statesman in this player duel also won the League Cup in Scotland, as well as three Charity Shield titles with Liverpool.

Pogba helped Manchester United to the EFL Cup in 2016-17 - a third successive season with domestic cup glory for him - but his only other such triumphs came in the 2013 and 2015 Supercoppas Italiana.

VERDICT: Pogba 5-8 Souness



EUROPEAN TROPHIES

PP of MNU celebrates with the Europa League trophy in 2017© Reuters

Whereas Pogba is the clear winner in the World Cup category, European trophies are where Souness comes into his own. Liverpool were not just the dominant force in England during his time at Anfield, but also in Europe and the combative midfielder was a major reason for that.

Souness was part of three European Cup-winning sides for Liverpool - no other English club has more winners' medals than he does individually - and his performance as captain in the 1984 final against Roma, beating the Italians on penalties in their own stadium, has gone down in history.

The birthday boy also assisted the only goal of the game in the 1978 final, just five months after joining the club, while he scored a hat-trick in the quarter-finals en route to the trophy in 1981.

By contrast, Pogba has a solitary Europa League title to his name with United in 2016-17, although he did finish as a Champions League runner-up during his time with Juventus in 2014-15.

VERDICT: Pogba 1-3 Souness



INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

Pogba boasts plenty of individual awards, but many of those were introduced long after Souness retired and the two big ones to have been around during both players' careers were the Ballon d'Or and the PFA Team of the Year.

Both players have received votes for the Ballon d'Or in three separate years, but Souness has reached the greatest height in that regard. The Scot finished sixth in the voting in 1984, while he also finished 15th in 1978 and 21st in 1985.

Pogba, meanwhile, finished 15th in both 2015 and 2018, and went one better than that with a 14th-placed finish in 2016.

Souness also leads the way when it comes to PFA recognition, with the Liverpool legend being named in the team of the year for four successive seasons between 1980 and 1984, whereas Pogba's first inclusion was last season. Souness can also boast a place in the PFA Team of the Century.



OVERALL

The trophy hauls certainly prove that Souness is qualified to offer his opinion on Pogba's performances, having won 17 top-tier trophies compared to 11 for Pogba.

However, the Manchester United man does have that coveted World Cup winners' medal among those 11, and at 27 still has a good few years to add to his overall tally.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool31282170214986
2Manchester CityMan City31203877334463
3Leicester CityLeicester32167960312955
4Chelsea321661057441354
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd321410851312052
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves321313645341152
7Arsenal32111384741646
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs31129105041945
9Burnley32136133645-945
10Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd31111193031-144
11Everton32128124047-744
12Crystal Palace32119122837-942
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle32119123343-1042
14Southampton32124164155-1440
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton32712133444-1033
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3286183856-1830
17Watford32610162949-2028
18Aston Villa3276193660-2427
19Bournemouth3276193054-2427
20Norwich CityNorwich3256212560-3521

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