Juventus forward Paulo Dybala does not want to be put in the same bracket as Lionel Messi despite downing the Barcelona icon and his illustrious team-mates.
Dybala netted a brilliant first-half brace as the Serie A titleholders comprehensively beat Barca 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Juventus Stadium.
Already viewed in some quarters as Messi’s heir for the Argentina national team, Dybala’s match-winning display brought forth further superlatives, with veteran Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon saying he has the ability to be considered one of the three best players in the world.
Nevertheless, Dybala was keen to stay in the moment after a dominant victory that will live long in the memory – provided Massimiliano Allegri’s side avoid the type of improbable capitulation Paris Saint-Germain suffered in the previous round at Camp Nou.
“Messi is Messi, the one who plays for Barca,” he told TV3
“I’m Paulo, I’m happy but we know that it will not end here and that it will not be easy at Camp Nou.
“I try to enjoy these moments and not think about what’s going to happen.
“I will do everything to get as far as possible.”
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 11, 2017
Dybala has also been touted as a possible transfer target for Barcelona, with club great Xavi describing him as a perfect fit for the Spanish champions.
His clinical showing in Turin is likely to increase the clamour further but the 23-year-old explained he is close to agreeing a news deal with Juventus.
“I am very happy at Juventus,” he added.
“My renewal is very close, people are very fond of me and I will give more joy to the fans.”