Neymar goal sinks United as Jose Mourinho compares Paul Pogba to Barcelona elite
Manchester United ended their pre-season tour of the United States with a 1-0 defeat to Barcelona but manager Jose Mourinho was satisfied with his team's overall performance and fitness level ahead of the new season.
Neymar of FC Barcelona celebrates with Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the International Champions Cup 2017 match.
Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Andreas Pereira had their chances on goal to equalise for United in the second half but failed to test Barcelona stopper Jasper Cillessen.
Mourinho was particularly impressed with another solid display from midfielder Pogba, who the Portuguese manager believes is among the best players in the world.
Paul Pogba and Lionel Messi challenge for the loose ball.
Image credit: Eurosport
(Lionel) Messi and Neymar, there is only one; there is not two. (Luis) Suarez, (Andres) Iniesta, (Gerard) Pique, (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Gareth) Bale, (Luka) Modric, Toni Kroos; there is only one so they can only play for one club, not for two clubs. We can't have them, they belong to the clubs. But I have to say that Paul Pogba showed the level..he showed he belongs to that level."
United's defeat at the FedexField was their first in their pre-season campaign.
"It's very important to lose a match in pre-season," Mourinho told reporters after the match.
I think it would be very bad for us to leave the US without a defeat, playing against teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, it would be very bad to go home with just victories.
"I think in the game we did some very good things and we did bad things. The very good things are to keep and the bad things are to improve."
Neymar, FC Barcelona, Manchester United
Image credit: Getty Images
The United manager also confirmed midfielders Juan Mata and Ander Herrera will resume training when they return to Manchester on Saturday.
Mourinho's side will next visit Norwegian side Valerenga on Sunday before facing Italian Serie A team Sampdoria in their final pre-season match in Dublin on Wednesday.
They kick off their competitive campaign with a UEFA Super Cup meeting with Real Madrid on Aug. 8 in Skopje.