Former Juventus and Napoli midfielder Massimo Mauro sees parallels between Michel Platini vs Diego Maradona and Paulo Dybala vs Lorenzo Insigne.
The Bianconeri went head-to-head with the Partenopei for the Scudetto in the 1980s, with many typifying it as a battle between the two number 10s.
This morning’s Gazzetta dello Sport makes a comparison between that duel and today’s stars Dybala and Insigne, and spoke to someone who played with Le Roi and El Diego.
“It’s not something to make comparisons about, but the suggestion is strong,” Mauro told the newspaper.
“There are two elements of indisputable talent who can excite people. They recall their distinguished predecessors, they have a way of turning their ankle when they kick to direct the ball which is typical of the great ones.
“They’ve taken different paths, but they’ve both been good to enter into two particular realities. Juve spent so much on Dybala and he’s fit in really well at a prestigious club.
“He’s changed his role since Palermo and expanded his repertoire.
“Insigne has taken the role of a prophet at home, it’s never easy anywhere but particularly in Naples.
“He’s shown personality and he’s also succeeded in putting some difficult times behind him and convincing a skeptical crowd.
“What are they missing? I’d have liked Dybala to be decisive in the Champions League final against Real [Madrid] but it must be said that even Platini and Maradona didn’t win alone and the team didn’t particularly support him.
“I’d have expected more from him in that game though.
“Insigne, like everyone at Napoli, needs to win something important. It’s great to see him play and it’s nice to admire [Maurizio] Sarri’s team but it’s time to collect some trophies.”
Mauro was then asked which of the two is more of a true number 10.
“Neither of them is a 10, at least if we think about the way Platini and Maradona interpreted the role.
“Dybala is more of a nine-and-a-half, a deep-lying striker who gives his best in the final 30 metres.
“Insigne is a 10-and-a-half, because he starts on the wing and then arrives in the goal zone.
“Last year they tried to make him a pure trequartista, but I think he’s more effective in a 4-3-3 because he knows how to contribute in the defensive phase too.
“Which would I choose to take a 90th-minute free-kick? Neither of the two, instead one between [Miralem] Pjanic and [Dries] Mertens.
“In my opinion they’re the real set piece specialists.”
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