Former Juventus striker David Trezeguet believes Paulo Dybala has what it takes to take Lionel Messi’s place in world football one day.
Dybala and Messi will lock horns in the Champions League on Tuesday, when Juventus travel to Barcelona in their group-stage opener, and Trezeguet made it clear he was a big fan of the Bianconeri’s No 10.
“Barcelona-Juventus? It’ll be a great game,” the Frenchman told Tuttosport.
“They’re two teams that have very clear objectives: to go as far as possible in the Champions League.
“They’re not just two teams, they also have several outstanding players. I believe, and I’m even convinced, that Juventus are ready to start well in Europe after their excellent start in the League. They’re well equipped and in good shape.
“Messi-Dybala? We know Messi very well, he was also crucial in Barca’s last game against Espanyol.
“And Dybala... Well, Paulo is the present, but he’s also the future. He’s started very well: he’s been scoring a lot and I see him well physically.
“He also has the qualities of a player at the highest level. He’ll be fired up at Camp Nou: he surely can’t wait to get on the pitch, at a stadium with the mystique [of Camp Nou].
“Facing Messi again will really motivate him. Would I like to be compared to the best player in the world? I’ve also seen that he can live with certain responsibilities, with determination but also calmness.
“It’s clear that Messi has more experience and is at a different point in his career, but Paulo’s growing a lot and maybe Messi’s motivating him to improve.
“He’s become smarter on the pitch, he moves at the right time, he’s immediately aware of what’s going on around him, he knows when to push and keep the ball.
“It’s no coincidence that his understanding with Higuain is improving after their first season together.
“Will Higuain equal my goal record? If it happens… I’d be happy! Records are there to be broken.
“As for Higuain, I have great respect for him. He’s a player of real value and he didn’t take long to show his qualities at Juve.
“Is he not decisive? These claims make me smile, I disagree. We’re talking about a striker who’s made an important impact in recent seasons and always done his bit.
“I can also see that he’s working hard to dispel some of those assertions, even though I’m convinced that a player like him has nothing else to prove anything to anyone.”