Barcelona & Liverpool-linked Wirtz on having Messi's shirt, Havertz comparisons & playing abroad

Florian Wirtz Bayer Leverkusen 2021-22Getty Images

Barcelona and Liverpool-linked Bayer Leverkusen star Florian Wirtz has opened up on why Lionel Messi is his football role model, the comparisons made with Germany team-mate Kai Havertz and whether he would consider a move abroad down the line.

The 18-year-old has been one of the breakout performers of the season in the Bundesliga, with his success not going unnoticed by suitors such as the Blaugrana and the Reds,

But now, the attacking midfielder has explained why he idolised Barca great Messi, what he thinks of his skills next to Havertz and just what his future holds amid interest from several European giants.

What has been said?

"I actually had a few posters hanging in my room, [like] Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele and Aubameyang, for example," Wirtz told Sky Sport Germany. "My first jersey, however, was Messi's Argentina jersey.

"When I was little, he was the best player there was at the time in the world. I watched videos of him, was a fan of his - I wanted to be as good as him.

"Of course, I've developed my own style in the meantime. [But] nobody can play like Messi - he has his own way of playing. Sometimes I watch more specifically how he solves situations."

Wirtz on Havertz and future abroad

Elsewhere, the teenager touched on comparisons made with Chelsea star Havertz, another former Leverkusen graduate, and admitted that he did not feel comfortable drawing comparisons between the pair of them.

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"I played with him and was able to learn a lot from him," he added. "Kai is playing in the Champions League and is already much more successful on the big stage. So it's not my place to compare myself to him."

As for a future away from Germany, he added: "It depends on where I see the next steps in my career. It's definitely a possibility to play abroad at some point. But I haven't thought about it until now. I [will] take everything as it comes and then decide where [the] next step leads."

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