Paul Pogba played Juventus’ 2-0 win against Atalanta with a hand written addition to the back of his shirt. Next to the No. 10, he wrote in a “+5.” But why? Did he decide that he prefers the No. 15 just before kickoff? Was it some kind of psychological warfare against his opponents? A tribute to the Jackson 5? What could it be?
It seems it was none of those things. Instead, Pogba’s intention seemed to be for it to be read at 1+0+5, which equals six — his shirt number before taking the vaunted No. 10 after Carlos Tevez left the club over the summer.
This callback would make sense given the fact that he was asked about the pressure associated with his new number after his sub-par mid-week performance against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League.
His reply (via Football Italia):
“10 is just a number. If I’d scored a goal tonight, nobody would’ve asked me about the number.”
So the “+5” was most likely a commentary related to that. And if his struggles continue, maybe he’ll create more and more complex equations back there.
UPDATE: As Niccolò notes below, that “+” might actually be a “7” as part of a tribute to Pele, who celebrated his 75th birthday last week. If that’s what it is, Paul needs to work on his penmanship.