Lallana dismisses Xavi and Iniesta comparisons

The midfielder has pointed to the pair's medal haul following comments from Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino, but is keen to test himself against them at the World Cup
England and Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana has played down comparisons to Spain and Barcelona stars Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

Mauricio Pochettino compared his star man to the pair in March after a standout display against Newcastle, adding: "We haven't seen a player like that in this country for a long time.

16/1 Adam Lallana is 16/1 with bet365 to be England's top scorer at the World Cup
Lallana appreciates being considered so highly by his manager, but told Pochettino he disagreed with his assessment due to the trophies and achievements the pair have garnered during their career.

"It's flattering to hear those comparisons but I had a chat with [Pochettino] and told him I didn't really agree with him," he told reporters.

"I mentioned it to him a couple of times because they are world-class players who have won World Cups, European Championships and Champions Leagues.

"So, hopefully in the summer, I will have the chance to grace the field with them and test myself against them. They are obviously big players that I look up to. The way they move the ball and manipulate it.

"The Spaniards have been at the top for the past five or six years with the national team but we will be looking to change that this summer."

With Pochettino set to be appointed as Tottenham's new manager, Lallana has also been linked with an exit from St Mary's and the manager has reiterated his desire to play in the Champions League.

"I'm ambitious. I have aspirations to play in the Champions League," he said. "Ever since I've played international football, you realise there's that other level to play at. It would be great.

"I went to a couple of the Champions League games last year and the feeling you get, the buzz, it's an unbelievable atmosphere. It's definitely a goal of mine to play in the Champions League."