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The Spanish attacker has been in blistering form for the Austrian outfit this season but stressed he cannot be compared to the Barcelona star

EXCLUSIVE
By Pilar Suarez

Jonatan Soriano has laughed off suggestions that he is as important to Red Bull Salzburg as Lionel Messi is to Barcelona.

The 28-year-old, who joined the Austrian giants from Barcelona B in January 2012, has been in sublime form so far this season, scoring 37 goals in 28 appearances in all competitions.

Nevertheless, the Spanish forward has stressed that he cannot be compared to the illustrious Argentine.

"I do not see myself as the Messi of the Austrian league," Soriano told Goal.

"It is impossible to compare any player with Messi. But is is true that I have been doing well this season. I am in great form and it is my goal to keep this up and help the team.

"I am just trying to do my job. Luck sometimes plays a big role in football and I am high on confidence. In the end, it is very important for a striker to score goals."

Salzburg impressed during the winter break with a friendly win over Bayern Munich, before thrashing Ajax 6-1 on aggregate in the Europa League round of 32 and Soriano is hopeful they can go far in Europe.

"The match against Bayern was a perfect demonstration of what we can do. It is true that it was only a friendly and they missed some players, but we still showed that we are a team that should be taken seriously.

"We once more confirmed this in the games against Ajax, a team that was one of the favourites to win the Europa League. We have little experience at this level, but we have shown that we should be taken seriously.

"All the teams that have made the round of 16 deserve to be here. We know that Basel will be nothing like Ajax. They have a much more physical approach. One of our biggest strengths is that we can adapt to our opponents, though. I am sure we can get a good result from the tie."

The first leg in Basel takes place on Thursday, with the return scheduled to take place in Salzburg on March 20.

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