Pogba, international man of mystery: Richard Buxton
The midfielder is a footballing James Bond with France and an Austin Powers with Man United
Paul Pogba remains caught between two international men of mystery.
With France, he is a footballing James Bond; for Manchester United, he is Austin Powers.
The midfielder is vaunted as a hero in his homeland but remains an enigma in England.
Pogba's latest commanding role for the newly crowned world champions in a 2-1 victory over Holland yesterday morning (Singapore time) continued that theme of discrepancy.
Red Devils supporters remain enamoured with the idea of the 25-year-old being a standard-bearer of the "United way".
It is why he escaped largely unscathed from an early-season war of attrition with United manager Jose Mourinho which placed the "Special One" firmly under the microscope.
Yet it is also a fantasy which is unlikely to ever come to fruition at Old Trafford.
Much like his performances, the adoration that Pogba receives when representing Les Bleus has seldom been reflected in the two years since he rejoined the English Premier League.
At the World Cup, Pogba appeared to have come of age, with Antoine Griezmann extolling his leadership qualities within the dressing room.
A rousing pre-match speech before Didier Deschamps' side triumphed over Croatia in the final suggested that a corner had been turned.
Barely four weeks later, he had reverted to his former man-child ways.
Conversations which once focused on selfless motivation regressed back to the subject of self-interest.
He is not the first to flourish on the international stage while simultaneously middling in Manchester; Cristiano Ronaldo was the first to openly court a move away from the Theatre of Dreams throughout Portugal's 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008 campaigns.
But similarities between Pogba's current tribulations and those of Mario Balotelli, another player in Mino Raiola's talent stable, have become far more striking with the weeks that pass.
Balotelli became a lightning rod during a three-season spell with Manchester City, much to Roberto Mancini's frustration.
Flamboyance was omnipresent and trouble lurked at every turn.
For Italy, however, he managed to blur the lines between Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; the clown prince became a torso-bearing talisman to fire his country into the Euro 2012 final.
Eventually, Mancini reached breaking point; grabbing his compatriot by the collar after overzealous tackling in a training ground row which signalled his end at the Etihad Stadium.
Pogba is unlikely to test Mourinho's patience in the same way as Balotelli, although the United manager ironically retains a particular fondness for the latter, but inconsistency risks a similar impact as the Azzurri striker's temperament had on Man City's EPL title defence in the 2012/13 season.
By the age of 25, Balotelli had represented four of Europe's esteemed clubs - Inter Milan, Man City, AC Milan and Liverpool - and struggled to settle with any of them.
A pattern of semi-nomadic behaviour also appears now to be repeating itself with the World Cup winner.
Pogba's first stint with the Red Devils, both in the youth and first-team ranks, totalled three years.
Although he lasted 12 months longer with Juventus, it came with a caveat of claims that an eventual Old Trafford return was already being touted halfway through that spell.
There is already a sense of inevitability that he will soon be on the move again.
If Pep Guardiola is to be believed, it may have conceivably been a short distance across Manchester.
Non-committal remarks over his United future beyond the coming months has done little to alleviate that unease.
Barcelona's charm offensive appears to have begun in earnest, with vice-president Jordi Mestre joining Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez in making public overtures.
Home will be wherever Pogba lays his ever-changing hairstyle but his heart will never bleed for any club, United or otherwise, in the same way that it does with France.