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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Manchester United's Paul Pogba posts video of Makkah pilgrimage ahead of World Cup

The Frenchman posted the video of himself standing in front of the Kaaba at the holiest site of Islam in Saudi Arabia

France midfielder Paul Pogba arrives at the team's training camp in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines, outside Paris, after his recent visit to Makkah, Saudi Arabia . Franck Fife / AFP 
France midfielder Paul Pogba arrives at the team's training camp in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines, outside Paris, after his recent visit to Makkah, Saudi Arabia . Franck Fife / AFP 

French midfielder Paul Pogba has posted a video of himself at the holiest site of Islam in Saudi Arabia.

The video, which was posted on Tuesday, was uploaded before the 25-year-old Manchester United player linked up with the rest of the 23-man France squad at their Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines training centre outside of Paris on Wednesday.

"Only the person that comes here can understand the feeling," the 25-year-old Manchester United player said in an Instagram video from the holy city of Makkah.

"This a beautiful place - beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And the feeling ... I cannot even explain to you."

The Frenchman posted the video of himself standing in front of the Kaaba, a black cube towards which Muslims turn for their five daily prayers.

Pogba, who will be a key member of France's World Cup team in Moscow, made a similar pilgrimage last year during the month of Ramadan.

A post shared by Paul Labile Pogba (@paulpogba) on

France - World Cup winners in 1998 and finalists in 2006 - are in Group C with Denmark, Australia and Peru and kick off their campaign in the Russian city of Kazan against the Australians on June 16.

One player not at Clairefontaine and highly unlikely to make the trip to Russia even in the case of a spate of injuries is Paris Saint-German midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who has written to France manager Didier Deschamps saying he is not prepared to be a World Cup standby player.

The 23-year-old PSG player sent an email to Deschamps saying he would not "be able to follow the training programme" sent to the 11 standbys.

French sports daily L'Equipe wrote that Rabiot "had decided to act himself without necessarily listening to the advice of those around him".

Another newspaper, Le Parisien, suggested that it was "a thoughtful decision" that the French coaching staff "would have tried to change".

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Absentee XI: Icardi, Morata, Nainggolan and others cut from their World Cup squads

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