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The young attacker was asked if he is similar to the three-time World Player of the Year, and confessed that he hopes to one day become a symbol of his club

Napoli starlet Lorenzo Insigne has played down comparisons with Barcelona star Lionel Messi, after team-mate Goran Pandev had likened the two.

Both players are diminutive attackers, and with Insigne touted to enjoy a breakthrough season at the San Paolo, Pandev had compared their playing styles.

But the Italy Under-21 international, who is set for more first-team action this term following the departure of Ezequiel Lavezzi, has explained that it is not realistic to liken him to the majestic Blaugrana forward.

"Am I like Messi?" Insigne is quoted as saying in La Republica.

"I thank Goran for comparing me to Messi but let's not exaggerate. It is better to avoid such comparisons. Messi is extraordinary, even if personally I still think the greatest player who ever lived was Diego Maradona."

After spending the 2011-12 season on loan in Serie B under the tutelage of Zdenek Zeman, the starlet revealed how useful the now Roma coach has been in his development.

"At first I was sceptical of him, but Zdenek Zeman helped me a great deal at Pescara last season and I grew enough to earn my chance at Napoli," he explained.

 "I have always supported this club and would like to one day become a symbol of Napoli."

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