Paul Pogba, a Manchester United footballer, has flown to Saudi Arabia and landed in Islam's holiest city as he marked the start of Ramadan. Pogba, the world's most expensive footballer, arrived in Saudi Arabia just three days after lifting the Europa League trophy after Manchester United beat Ajax in Stockholm.
On Sunday, the French international shared a picture of himself in Mecca wearing simple white garments and captioned the photo the "most beautiful thing I've seen in my life." He added a tweet wishing everyone a "happy Ramadan." Saturday marked the start of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar.
The 24-year-old became the most expensive footballer in history last summer, after Manchester United paid Juventus a reported $114 million dollar fee, according to BBC News. Following the end of the season, Paul shared a short video of himself with a suitcase, saying he was "en route" for his prayers. The footballer is attending Umrah, a non-mandatory Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca that can be performed during any time of the year.
It has been reported that the French midfielder made the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once before when he performed the Hajj. The journey to Mecca is a journey every healthy adult Muslim, who can afford it, is supposed to make at least once in their lifetime.The religious site receives about 15 million visitors each year. Pogba has been spotted at various Muslim events and celebrations in recent years. Paul was introduced to Islam by his mother.
Pogba posted a video on Instagram of him twirling his luggage outside his home in Manchester before his long journey to Mecca, telling his followers, "'On my way to go say thank you for this season. See you soon Manchester! En route to my prayers."Pogba is a practicing Muslim, but it is not known if he will spend the next month fasting.
Now Paul can look forward to a long break following next month's international commitments. Manchester United is due to play six pre-season fixtures in the United States and Norway.Just this month, the United midfielder was struck with tragedy when his father, Fassou Antoine, died at the age of 79, following a battle with a long-term illness, according to the UK's Independent. Pogba was granted a compassionate leave and took time out to grieve with his family.
It was a memorable moment for Pogba's family and fans alike when Fassou appeared in the stands for France's draw with Switzerland during Euro 2016. Pogba's father stood with his two other sons, Florentin and Mathias, while Pogba wore a shirt that read, "Happy Father's Day" in French.
Pogba took to social media to post an emotional tribute to his father. In the video posted by Pogba, the 24-year-old appears to be showing his father how to dab. Pogba captioned the photo, "RIP Pap ❤.️ Merci to L'Hôpital Américan de Paris and to the Christie Clinic in Manchester for all the care to my dad. Allez Papa, c'est nous la Pogbance!!"The Frenchman thanked staff members at the American Hospital of Paris and the Christie Clinic in Manchester.
The midfielder's $114 million price tag has put him under some major scrutiny throughout this season. Nonetheless, Pogba scored nine goals in 51 games in his first season at Old Trafford.
However, manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that the huge transfer fee has taken its toll on the player. So much so, that the Manchester United manager is hopeful the record will be broken again this summer to take the pressure off Pogba.
[Featured Image by Clive Rose/Getty Images]