Hellas Verona star signing Juan Iturbe has dismissed comparisons with Lionel Messi after joining the club on a 12-month loan deal from Porto.
The 20-year-old's diminutive stature and running style are reminiscent of the Barcelona forward, though he has been quick to distance himself from any likeness with his compatriot.
"Messi is unattainable, you can not make comparisons," Iturbe told Gazzetta dello Sport. "But my idol is Maradona. He may have been from an older generation but he is a legend and will always be my God."
Iturbe also says he is keen to prove he can make the grade in Europe having struggled to make an impact at Porto since joining the club from Cerro Porteno in 2010. The forward joined River Plate on a six-month loan in December last year in a bid for regular first team football but has again been allowed to leave the club on a temporary 12-month this summer.
"I have always dreamed of playing in Serie A and I have arrived at a big club," Iturbe said. "Ezequiel Cirigliano advised me to join him at Verona, and we have players who want to win and a coach capable of making it happen.
"I am looking forward to playing from the left or right of the attack, and I cannot wait to play with Luca Toni - he is a real champion."
- Sports & Recreation
- Gazzetta dello Sport