Football News

Paulo Dybala thought he was “the new Lionel Messi”, says Massimiliano Allegri

By Ben Green

Published: 10:37, 1 June 2022

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has urged Paulo Dybala “to go back to being himself” following his departure from Turin and stop trying the emulate compatriot Lionel Messi.

The Argentine attacker called time on his Juventus career last month, confirming his departure in a heartfelt social media post, in which he stated that he “thought we would be together even more years, but fate puts us on different paths”. 

Dybala’s current contract is set to expire later this month, which will signal the end of his time for The Old Lady, seven years after he joined as a precocious goalscoring and creative talent from Palermo.

La Joya leaves Turin with a what-could-have-been asterisks attached to his tenure, given how formidable he was at the start of his Juve career. The 28-year-old netted 68 goals in 140 games during his first three seasons (and was also named in the Serie A Team of the Year in each) — but his form dropped from there.

In the following four seasons Dybala has bagged just 47 goals in all competitions across 153 games, failing to really kick on, and now Allegri has accused the forward of trying too much to be like the ‘new Messi’, rather than focusing on his own game.

Allegri told DAZN: “Dybala has to go back to being himself. There was a moment when he got carried away by being the new Lionel Messi.

“You cannot copy or emulate someone else. Paulo has a lot to give to football, he has extraordinary technical qualities, but he has to go back to focusing on the latter.”

With Dybala set to become a free agent, he will certainly have no shortage of potential suitors, and one of those being linked with his signature is Roma, with Giallorossi immortal Francesco Totti even saying he will try to convince the Argentine to join his beloved club.

“We’ll see if we can bring him to Rome,” Totti responded when quizzed on Roma’s chances of signing Dybala. “I’ll meet him on Monday and I hope to convince him.

“We’re in Milan for Eto’o’s match, we’ll play together and I’ll give him some advice.

“I’ll try to put something in his head, hopefully we’ll succeed. That is if Roma are the same mind as me.”