August 2, 2021

Dybala in the same category as Maradona & Neymar, says former Juventus icon Platini

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The three-time Ballon d’Or winner feels that the Bianconeri’s No.10 plays similarly to the Argentina legend, although isn’t quite at the same level

Juventus legend Michel Platini has compared Paulo Dybala to footballing greats such as Diego Maradona, Omar Sivori and Neymar, but admits that the Argentine might not have the same level of talent as the other iconic players.

Dybala has come in for some criticism during his six-year stay in Turin after transferring in from Palermo in 2015, with injuries and a lack of consistency leading to questions over whether he will ever fully live up to expectations.

An upturn in form of late has seen the pressure ease somewhat on the 27-year-old, however, with his link-up play with Cristiano Ronaldo providing positivity for a side who are chasing down AC Milan in a bid to retain the Serie A title.

Platini, who won a plethora of honours during his time with Juventus, has, however, always been a fan of Dybala and likened him to another left-footed Argentina international who starred during his time with Napoli.

“I like Paulo a lot. He’s part of the category of players like Maradona, [Omar] Sivori, Neymar… he may have a little less talent, but let’s see,” the former president of UEFA told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He’s not Ronaldo, he’s not Messi and he’s not a regista, he’s an offensive playmaker who plays as a striker.

“The Argentine’s very good on the pitch and he’s fresh-faced. He comes across as a likeable lad. It’s interesting that he has matched me for goals and appearances in Serie A. Figures are one thing but we’re different players.

“I always try to avoid comparisons, but I can say that he’s definitely better than me in one thing: he’s 40 years younger!

“He’s also more of an attacker than I was, he’s a forward. They can play him wherever they want but he’s still a forward.

“He also scores enough goals. I was a midfielder who scored lots of goals, a team player who drove everyone else on, more than Dybala. It’s not that he doesn’t but he’s an attacker.

“He’s not Platini. He’s more… Maradona-esque.”

Turning his attention to Sunday’s highly-anticipated clash between his former club and Inter, Platini gave his prediction.

“How will it end? 1-0, with a goal from CR7,” the Frenchman said. “But it will be exciting. In terms of the Scudetto, keep an eye on AC Milan. They always achieve results, they are first and will not stop. This Serie A is a battle.”