Paris Saint-Germain star Ezequiel Lavezzi has stressed that he is not on the same level as fellow Argentine Diego Maradona, but is proud to have followed in the footsteps of his legendary compatriot at Napoli.
The 28-year-old was a key player at the San Paolo during his time at the club, earning comparisons to the Partenopei icon, but he has insisted that he never felt that he could emulate the 1986 World Cup winner.
"The Maradona comparisons are things for the journalists and for the fans. I am well aware and realistic, and the truth is that I am nothing like the player that Maradona was," Lavezzi told The Green Soccer Journal.
"I am a simple football player, some may like me and others not, but Maradona represents part of the history of football, so I could never compare myself with him or try and occupy his place. I simply tried to do what I do best, which is to play football.
"Following Maradona did not signify a burden; I never thought about it that way. I decided to go there because I liked the idea of playing where so many Argentines had gone before and because the football there is lived in a similar way to how it is experienced in Argentina.
"I chose Napoli because they are a team that, given the history of the club, for us as Argentines, the fact that Maradona had played there, were something special."
The attacker then went on to discuss Argentina's chances at the 2014 World Cup and stressed that they will do their utmost to give their fans reason to celebrate again.
"The feeling, the responsibility we have is large, but that shouldn't work against us. We are aware that we have a great sentiment, but we are also aware that Argentina, for some time, have not won anything, and that the people want that – and the Argentine people are waiting.
"So we go out and play, with the mentality to approach it in the best way and give that joy to the people that have been waiting for that for some time now.
"Us Argentines have a weakness for the national team. And the chance to represent our country is a reason for pride and an opportunity that very few have. Every one of us knows the importance it has."
Argentina last won the World Cup in 1986 when they beat West Germany 3-2 in the final.
This interview was conducted by www.thegreensoccerjournal.com