Florentin Pogba is the latest player to try the Indian Super League (ISL) challenge as he joined ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) on a two-year deal. The announcement was made by the Mariners on June 25.

The 31-year-old defender, with over 284 career appearances, is the older brother of France footballer and World Cup winner Paul Pogba. Florentin’s twin brother Mathias, is also a footballer who plies his trade as a striker for French fourth-tier club Belfort.

Early beginnings in Spain and France

Born on August 19, 1990, in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, Florentin Pogba and his family moved to Roissy-en-Brie in France. In 2007, Florentin and his twin brother Mathias signed for Celta Vigo’s youth academy.

After two years on the books of Celta and first-team opportunities hard to come by, the defender would join Sedan in 2009 after a successful trial with the French club. Within a year, the older Pogba sibling signed his first senior contract.

In November 2010, Florentin Pogba made his debut in a Coupe de France match against FC Steinseltz, while his maiden league outing for the third-tier French team came in a 0-1 loss to Boulogne three months later in 2012. After making 87 appearances across all competitions, with seven goals and five assists to his name, Pogba would depart on the final day of the 2012 summer transfer window.

Slow and steady resurgence at Saint Etienne

Florentin Pogba joined Saint Etienne in 2012 for a fee of €500,000 but would be loaned back to Sedan for the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign. Upon his return to Les Verts, Pogba was limited to just five appearances in the 2013-14 season.

Despite the lack of opportunities, Florentin Pogba remained loyal to the club as he would register his first goal for Saint Etienne in a league game in 2014-15. In all, Pogba played 16 Ligue 1 games for his side and would slowly stake his claim as a regular player in the starting XI.

Florentin Pogba also had a taste of European football with Saint Etienne, as the club competed in the UEFA Europa League in the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 campaigns.

In the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League, Florentin and Paul Pogba played against each other while representing Saint Etienne and Manchester United, respectively. Paul, in turn, had the last laugh as his Man United team registered a 4-0 aggregate win in the Round of 32.

The journey across Turkey and Spain before success in US

In January 2018, Florentin would put pen to paper on a short-term contract with Turkish side Gençlerbirliği. However, his time at the club could be termed as one of the lowest points of his career as he clashed with his own team-mates on a couple of occasions.

The year 2019 started on an abrupt note for Pogba, as his proposed transfer to Spanish Segunda División club Elche broke down due to a registration hitch. But, it took just a month to turn the gloom to joy after he found a new employer in Atlanta United, a Major League Soccer (MLS) team.

Florentin Pogba played in 22 official games for the MLS giants, and won two trophies with them. Apart from the 2018-19 US Open Cup, Pogba provided an assist in Atlanta’s 3-2 win over CF America in the final of the 2018-19 Campeones Cup.

Return to France

With Atlanta United deciding against renewing Florentin Pogba’s contract with the team, the defender returned home to join Ligue 2 club Sochaux as a free agent in 2020.

Pogba would go on to feature in 65 games across all competitions, with one assist to his name.

International allegiance

While younger brother Paul Pogba opted to represent his country of birth France in international football, Florentin Pogba - alongside his twin Mathias - have been playing for Guinea.

Florentin Pogba has played in 31 games since his debut for the Guinea national football team in August 2010. He came on as a second-half substitute in a 2-0 international friendly win against Mali.

Author: William Paul

Featured photo: AFP / OLI SCARFF