But for a twist of fate, it have all been oh, so different, for semi-pro footballer, John Cofie.

For while John plies his trade for Southport in the Vanerama National League, his former playing pal – Paul Pogba – went on to become the most expensive footballer in the world.

But even though Pogba now earns millions in a season, Cofie is just delighted to be turning out for Port each and every week.

Such is the contrast in fortunes, the Times, no less, homed in on John this week to feature him in a special preview before Southport took on Fleetwood in the FA Cup on Monday night.

Speaking to the Times, the Ghana-born 23-year-old revealed how he was once in the same Manchester United youth side as Pogba.

But five years later there are yet to be any appearances at Wembley for Cofie, while his close friend Pogba is the star attraction at Old Trafford.

Yet there is no disappointment for Cofie, only hope and determination.

He told Times Journalist Oliver Kay: “People might look at me and say: ‘Oh, he was at United and now he’s at Southport,’ but that’s life and that’s football.


“Looking at it from the outside, people might say: ‘He’s no good anymore, blah, blah, blah,’ but that’s not the way I see it. I might have come from United to Southport, but a lot of people are way worse off than I am right now.

“The conference is a tough league to be in and it is a different type of football.

“I’m still getting used to it. I’ve found it tough, but I will get used to it and I will hopefully get back up again.

“My family are from Ghana, where a lot of people are really struggling, really down in the dumps, and I feel blessed in my life,” he added.

“I have clothes on my back, a roof over my head, food to eat every day. I would be a fool to complain about my life.”

Cofie has so far made six appearances this season for Southport.