Juventus forward Paulo Dybala has refused to rule out joining Barcelona one day but insists “I want to be Dybala and not the new Lionel Messi”.
Dybala is believed to be Barca’s top transfer target this summer, and the Argentine did little to quell those rumours as he reiterated his admiration for Messi ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg at Juventus Stadium.
“Messi? He’s a player that I admire and respect a lot, but I play for Juventus and he plays for Barcelona and we both want to win,” he said in an interview published by Marca and Mundo Deportivo.
“I admire him as a teammate and as an opponent, and although we’ll be on the same pitch, I’ll do everything to win.
“People have to understand that I’m not Messi. I’m Dybala and I understand that there are comparisons, but I want to be Dybala and not the new Messi.
“I’m Dybala and I’ll always try to give my best for my team and my national team.
“There’s only one Messi, just as there was only one Maradona. Replacing players like him is certainly not going to be easy.
“People have high expectations of me, and that’s a lot of pressure to take on.
“Barca in the future? I don’t know, as I said before, it was difficult when I was at Palermo, thinking about what was going to happen in three years.
“It’s hard to know what will happen tomorrow, so I don’t know what will happen in three years.
“I try to enjoy each day with Juventus and that’ll be the case on Tuesday. What will happen in the future, I don’t know.
“You never know if a lot of things can happen. All I know is that I’m in one of the best spells in Juve’s history and I want to enjoy it.
“The people here love me and treat me very well, and I want to enjoy it.”