Paul Pogba became a “monster” after taking a kicking from Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs in Manchester United training sessions.
The French midfielder graduated out of a famed academy system at Old Trafford to join a star-studded first-team squad that was pieced together by the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.
Pogba had much to prove on a senior stage, especially as a number of iconic figures were blocking his path to competitive game time.
In order to see minutes, he had to prove himself worthy on the training field.
Pogba initially decided to adopt a respectful approach, but was soon put in his place by Scholes and Co.
On the advice of those around him, including fellow countryman Patrice Evra, necessary changes were made in the pursuit of greater recognition.
Pogba eventually walked away from Manchester in order to find that, as he linked up with Juventus, but not before adding the power to his game that has made him a global superstar and World Cup winner.
Reflecting on his early experiences with Evra for The Players’ Tribune, a man who returned to England in an £89 million ($113m) deal during the summer of 2016 said: “I was very respectful to everyone, to you, to Rio [Ferdinand], to Giggs, to everyone.
“So you remember when Giggsy and Scholesy every training they kick me and I just look at them and stand up and I didn’t say anything but respect.
“So you told me ‘Paul if you let them kick you, you will start being the.. B... it starts with a B... of the team so you better wake up and change your attitude’.
“And the next day I just came in and…”
Evra finished off that sentence, saying: “Monster.”
Pogba took in just seven appearances for United before opting against signing a new contract and spreading his wings in Italy.
A further 152 have been seen since he was re-signed by Jose Mourinho.
The 27-year-old has contributed 32 goals across those outings, helping the Red Devils to League Cup and Europa League triumphs.
The 2019-20 campaign has been a testing one for him, with niggling injuries holding him back, but a return to fitness has been enjoyed alongside January signing Bruno Fernandes and there is now talk of Pogba signing a new contract – with the seemingly endless rounds of exit talk brought to a close.