Lecce forward Filippo Falco’s “dream” is to play for Barcelona.
The 28-year-old – once referred to as the “Messi of Salento” by Italian paper Corriere dello Sport (Salento being a region in southern Italy) – has three goals and three assists in 18 Serie A appearances this season, helping Lecce keep afloat just above the relegation zone.
Falco has created more chances (36) than any other Lecce player in the Italian top-flight in the current campaign and added a further goal in the Coppa Italia.
And although he “liked” Juventus as a child, Falco does Barcelona remains his “dream” destination.
“I have improved a lot. I worked hard and I always believed I could reach this level,” he told Tuttomercatoweb. “It is also thanks to the advice from the coach. I must keep developing.
“I want to continue having fun, scoring and assisting. As a child I liked Juventus. But the dream is to play for Barcelona.”
Falco’s creative output is all the more impressive given that this is his first full season playing at the top level of Italian football, with his only other experience of Serie A football coming in nine appearances for Bologna in 2015/16.
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The former Italy U-20 international credits his improvement to the influence of manager and former Lazio midfielder, Fabio Liverani.
Falco added: “I worked a lot and I always believed I could reach this level thanks to the coach’s [Liverani] advice. I’m happy. But I have to keep growing “
Lecce currently are 17th in Serie A, three points clear of the relegation zone after pulling off a shock win over Napoli last Sunday, in which Falco assisted his team’s second. A fixture against bottom-of-the-league SPAL is on the horizon this Saturday.