Paul Pogba will pay for NBA-style World Cup winning diamond-encrusted rings for France’s World Cup-winning squad, sources have said.
French FA president Noel Le Graet said on Tuesday that it will pick up the bill of around €10,000 for the transportation of the rings from Los Angeles to Paris.
The price of each piece has not been confirmed yet but they will be made of 11 carat diamonds with blue sapphires and red rubies.
The idea was pitched to the squad by Antoine Griezmann and Pogba, who are both NBA fans and want to emulate the tradition in U.S. sports of having a diamond ring made for each winner of a major title.
However, sources have said it created some tension among French players, mostly to do with the financing. In private, some were not keen on paying for it, and others didn’t think that the French federation should get involved in the payment either, while the fans’ reaction also played a factor.
In July, Griezmann contacted Jason of Beverly Hills, the Californian jewellers that created the rings for the Golden State Warriors for their 2017 NBA title and the Los Angeles Dodgers for their 2017 NLCS victory.
At the moment, each player has a small replica of the World Cup trophy.
The French federation could also organise a special ceremony to present the rings to the players.
But Spain international Alcantara says he and his teammates must not panic.
“We started the season well, winning convincingly our first official seven games,” Alcantara said.
“After the international break, we returned and the team was a bit tired, we started to lose the nuances and the guidelines that leaves a team having bad vibes. We go out looking to get a result but we concede after 10 minutes and then it’s like a bad nightmare, you think ‘s— not again’ and after that, it all goes badly.
“From then on, you are in recovery mode. We need to be calm in order to return to be what we were. After all, only two weeks have passed.
“We have this beautiful tradition at Bayern that we all get together with our families after the game in a room and celebrate the wins. That is why it hurts a lot more when we lose. We want to recover those nice feelings, not just for us players, but for the fans and our families. On the pitch we are competitive animals that want to always win.