Football

Lionel Messi comparisons rejected by Argentine starlet

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Hellas Verona midfielder Juan Iturbe has dismissed those who have compared him to Lionel Messi.

Iturbe, who moved to Serie A on a season-long loan deal from Portuguese champions FC Porto this summer, has been likened to the Barcelona star chiefly due to his similar running style. 

However, the 20-year-old, who stands at 5"6', has declined to accept such flattering comparisons and insists that Messi's extraordinary qualities cannot be replicated.

"Messi is unattainable, you can not make comparisons," Iturbe told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

"But my idol is Maradona. He may have been from an older generation but he is a legend and will always be my God."

Although such an association is undeniably favourable, being mentioned in the same breath as arguably football's greatest ever player will do Iturbe no favours as he seeks to establish himself in Italy with newly-promoted Verona. 

Since joining Porto from Paraguayan outfit Cerro Porteno in 2010, the diminutive talent has struggled to impose himself on the Primeira Liga and even spent time out on loan at Argentine giants River Plate last season. 

Iturbe, who has yet to make an appearance for the Argentine national side, spent most of his youth in neighbouring Paraguay and even earned a senior cap during the country's fixture against Chile in 2009. 

Due to it only being a friendly encounter, however, Iturbe was permitted to switch his international allegiance and he has since declared his intentions to feature for Argentina, the country of his birth. 

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Topics:
La Liga
Lionel Messi
Football

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