Milan midfielder Manuel Locatelli is calm about his recent form - “I wasn’t Lionel Messi before and I’m not a third-division player now”.
The 19-year-old burst onto the scene with a strong of fine performances earlier this season, scoring a fantastic winner against Juventus on October 22.
However, in recent weeks he has attracted some criticism for his performances, something the youngster thinks is unfair.
“I think I’ve achieved more dreams in this period than I have in all the rest of my life,” Locatelli told Rolling Stone.
“I was thrown into this world, it’s a more normal period now, as happens in the career of a player. I wasn’t Messi before October and I’m not a third-division player now.
“I have to prove myself and still improve a lot. I don’t want to create controversy, but I think in Italy we only look at errors and not the growth of a player.
“I’ve realised that there’s no balance in this world, one day you’re the future of the team and the next it’s a terrible crisis.
“It’s normal though that you have this profile if you’re playing for Milan, everyone is in the crosshairs with people looking to see what you’ll do.
“We hope it will be better from now on. I’m calm though, the Coach [Vincenzo Montella] is calm and we’re just trying to win.”
Locatelli replaced captain Riccardo Montolivo in the team after his cruciate ligament injury, but hopes to play alongside the Italian international next season.
“I’ve always admired Montolivo, I remember the first time I came to Milanello I asked him for a photo. I always wanted to play with him.
“Could we play together when he comes back? I think so, we’ve played together before. Of course the Coach will decide, but I think it’s possible.”