Atalanta striker Luis Muriel has revealed that he is out to emulate Liverpool star Roberto Firmino, whom he deems to be the best forward in world football.
Muriel was asked by Alfredo Pedulla for the Corriere dello Sport who was the planet’s best attacker, and he answered neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi.
“You are expecting me to name a player who scores 40 times every season,” explained the Colombian.
“I have a different idea and say Firmino because of his huge quality and because it’s not just about smashing them in. He will send you through on goal with a flick, and for me that is worth more.
The 28-year-old has scored eight goals in 11 Serie A games this season, and he pointed to Gian Piero Gasperini’s tactics for his prolific run of form.
“Gasperini doesn’t want me to receive the ball with my back to the goal. He’s a torment, but he is right.
“‘You always have to go diagonal. Luis, do you understand that or not? It‘s so you can get the best out of your characteristics.’ He‘s constantly hammering me, but I follow what he says carefully; I know what I need to improve on.
“I’ll tell you this: Lazio-Atalanta, the famous 3-3 result. Gosens comes forward, looks for me, I wait for him, I almost look into his eyes, I turn diagonally to make the move for the give-and-go. The day after, Gasperini told me he was proud. ‘And, that’s how it’s done.’
“I was satisfied about that. Now I need to work hard and improve.”
Atalanta are still in with a chance of the Champions League last 16 after they beat Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 on Tuesday...
“It was a fantastic game against Dinamo, just how we wanted it to be. We’ll believe until the last minute.
”Now we are thinking about Brescia, then we will prepare for the battle against Shakhtar [Donetsk].
“We replicated the performance against Juventus. And we took our chances. Well, maybe not all of them, because we had a lot of chances also on Tuesday.
”But we did a lot better compared to the game on Saturday."
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