Milan man Gerard Deulofeu admits early career comparisons with Lionel Messi at Barcelona proved to be “more detrimental than beneficial.”
The 23-year-old winger, on loan from Everton, grew up in the Barcelona youth academy and was tipped for great things, but never quite delivered.
“In the end, [the comparisons] were more detrimental than beneficial,” he told Forza Milan.
“Normally I don’t read newspapers, but that headline I remember well. It created too much expectation among Barcelona fans. There’s only one Messi.”
Deulofeu has certainly rediscovered his confidence at San Siro, scoring one goal with three assists in nine Serie A appearances.
“My future? It’ll be seen to. My dream is in the present, from experience I know it’s best to leave the past behind and focus on the present.
“We’ll see what happens in the future. For now, I just want to enjoy the good time that I‘m having at Milan.
“My idol? Ronaldinho, he was someone I admired when I played for Barcelona. For me, he was always a point of reference.”