Florenzi 'honoured' by Barcelona links

The Italy international has expressed his admiration for the Catalan club but says his primary goal is to help Roma win the Serie A title

Roma ace Alessandro Florenzi has admitted that he is flattered by Barcelona's reported interest in him and revealed Dani Alves is his role model.

The versatile Florenzi is expected to line up in the Roma midfield for Tuesday's Champions League clash with the Catalan club at Camp Nou, though the Italy international has also excelled at right-back this season.

Indeed, he scored a stunning goal from the halfway line in the first Group E clash between the two sides at the Stadio Olimpico that earned the Giallorossi a surprise draw against the reigning European champions.

Florenzi's fine form has seen him linked with a move to Barcelona and even Dani Alves admitted on Monday that he would welcome the 24-year-old with open arms.

Florenzi has now confessed that he is just as big a fan of the Brazilian defender, who is renowned for his rampaging runs down Barca's right flank.

"He's a role model for me," the Rome native told Marca. "I would like to emulate him because so often he seems like an attacker even though he plays at full-back.

"Moving to Barcelona? It's an honour to be linked with a club like this.

"It means that I'm working well. But now I'm living day by day, thinking only of Roma."


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Florenzi added that his sole focus in on stopping the side he has been linked with and noted the attacking threat of Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

"It will be will be a very difficult game against Luis Enrique's team," he conceded.

"They are all formidable players, but esepecially those three in attack, who always make the difference."

Roma go into their lastest European encounter on the back of a 2-2 draw at Bologna on Saturday that saw them slip to fourth in Serie A, three points behind leaders Inter.

However, Florenzi is more concerned with Napoli, who moved into second spot at the weekend thanks to a 2-0 win at Verona.

"Winning the Scudetto would be fundamental for us," he added. "We are one of several teams separated by ony a few points but, for me, the most difficult opponent is Napoli, who have a great coach [Maurizio Sarri] and great players."