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'Very exaggerated' - Busquets questions Sterling's Messi comparisons

01:56 BST 15/09/2019
Raheem Sterling Manchester City 2019-20
The Catalan veteran doesn't believe the two players are on the same level and a comparison does no-one any favours

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets doesn't believe Raheem Sterling should be compared to Lionel Messi.  

The Manchester City attacker has been in fine form for club and country over the past year with Jamie Carragher recently backing him to fill the void that will eventually be left my Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Busquets however feels Sterling hasn't yet earned the right to be spoken about in the same breath as the Barcelona star and that such a comparison could have a negative effect on the player. 

“Look, Sterling is a player with a big profile and a big potential. But comparing him to Leo Messi seems very exaggerated and not positive for the player," Busquets was quoted by The Mirror.

“What is true is that each one is playing a very big role in his club. He is a good player and can also have a lot of influence on the English national team."

Sterling, still just 24, scored 17 goals and added 10 assists for City in the league last season and has already struck five times this campaign. His form for the Three Lions has been just as impressive with the English attacker boasting six goals and four assists from his four appearances in Euro 2020 qualifiers. 

Like Busquets however, City manager Pep Guardiola has looked to pour cold water on Sterling being prematurely compared to the game's greats.

“I’m so happy for him, for the way he’s playing here and national team, but hopefully he won’t read or listen to these kind of things," Guardiola said last week. 

“Nobody can compare with Cristiano or Messi.

“I don’t know if he's the best in England. Since we're together, not just now, he’s been incredible with his work ethic. He's a nice guy, I’m delighted for him."

Sterling played the full 90 minutes on Saturday as City fell to a shock 3-2 loss against Norwich

A poor defensive display left Guardiola's side chasing the game at Carrow Road with the Canaries able to hold on and inflict City's first defeat of the season. 

With Liverpool meanwhile claiming a 3-1 win over Newcastle, City now sit five points behind the Reds in second on the Premier League table.