Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli has heaped praise upon Arturo Vidal, labelling the Juventus star as the 'Messi of midfielders' in recognition of his wonderful ability.
26-year-old Vidal, who has been in Serie A since making the move from Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen in 2011, is one of Juventus' most-prized assets and is an absolutely integral figure to their sustained success.
"There's only one Messi. He's unique. But we can say that Vidal is the Messi of midfielders," Sampaoli told Italian publication Tuttosport in an interview that was quoted by Goal.com.
"There are few like him: he is flexible, lethal, an expert in stealing the ball."
However, Sampaoli, who obviously has had the opportunity to witness Vidal's talents first-hand since taking over as Chile boss in 2012, believes it would be tricky for the player to achieve the same sort of Ballon d'Or recognition as Barcelona maestro Messi has received in recent years.
"The Ballon d'Or is difficult. It's generally awarded to attackers, to goalscorers," he added.
Premier League champions Manchester United have been linked with a move for Vidal recently, with La Liga behemoths Real Madrid reportedly ready to rival David Moyes for the signature of a player rated at a whopping £40 million.
Manchester United have endured a trying 2013/14 season so far, with Wednesday's dull goalless draw away to title-chasing Arsenal leaving them seventh in the Premier League table - trailing leaders Chelsea by a lofty 15 points and even adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool by nine.
The midfield area has evidently been of particular concern for Moyes during a dismal season at Old Trafford and Vidal - who has drawn comparisons to the best player of the planet - is certainly a man who would significant boost the quality of his current squad.
Real Madrid, though, have proved to be somewhat of an irresistible force in the transfer market during the stewardship of long-serving club president Florentino Perez and would appear to be able to offer Vidal a much greater chance of short-term success at the Bernabeu Stadium.
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