Manchester United star Paul Pogba has flown to Saudi Arabia to mark the start of the Muslim holy month Ramadan just three days after lifting the Europa League trophy with victory over Ajax in Stockholm.
Pogba wore simple white garments and sported a new low-key hairstyle as he was spotted ahead of his pilgrimage to Mecca after Saturday marked the start of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar.
The 24-year-old is a practising Muslim but it is not known if he will spend the next month fasting with the world’s most-expensive player named in Didier Deschamps’ squad for France’s games against Paraguay, Sweden and England in June.
Pogba posted a video on Instagram of him twirling his luggage outside his home in Manchester, telling his followers: ‘On my way to go say thank you for this season. See you soon Manchester! En route to my prayers.’
In pictures posted on Twitter, Pogba is seen dressed in all white ahead of ‘umrah’, the non-mandatory lesser pilgrimage to Mecca that – unlike Hajj – can be performed at any time of the year.
The former Juventus midfielder who scored United’s opening goal in the 2-0 victory over Ajax at the Friends Arena last Wednesday, was later spotted ahead of his period of introspection.
The more subdued appearance from the £100million midfielder is a far cry from the energetic celebrations on the pitch in Sweden barely 72 hours ago as he joined his family to toast the first European trophy of his career.
Pogba can look forward to a prolonged break following next month’s international commitments, with United due to play six pre-season fixtures in the United States and Norway.
The Frenchman will return to Old Trafford in July where he will be joined again by Michael Carrick, who has signed a new one-year contract extension with the Red Devils.