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Dybala inspired by Juventus captain Buffon

Juventus forward Paulo Dybala says it is an inspiration to work alongside club captain Gianluigi Buffon.

After struggling to adapt in the first few months following his transfer from Palermo, Dybala has gone on to hit 23 goals to inspire Juve to the Serie A title and the Coppa Italia final.

Head coach Massimiliano Allegri claimed early in the season that Dybala would need to adapt in order to make the transition from being “a leader” at Palermo to a developing young star in Turin.

And the 22-year-old believes the chance to play with serial winners like Buffon, who signed a new two-year contract with the club last week, will help him progress quickly.

“I’m far from a leader at a club like Juve,” he told El Pais. “There are players here who, with everything they’ve won, could relax. But they continue to battle every day to keep winning. To see that as a 22-year-old is essential.

“Gigi is a leader. The first few times I met him it really struck me, he transmits how much he wants to win and grow. He’s 38 and gets better every day. It’s easier to win with him, because he creates this huge inner strength.”

Dybala, who revealed he was inspired by former Barcelona star Ronaldinho and Argentina ace Juan Roman Riquelme, believes a humble attitude alongside an insatiable desire to be the very best has helped him to develop into one of the world’s brightest young players.

“Once, myself and some friends made a fire and we all had to say what we wanted to be when we grew up,” he explained. “I said I wanted to be the best player in the world. Everyone laughed! But it was fixed in my head.

“I wanted to be like Riquelme. Ronaldinho, too – I saw a lot of his matches. 

“I was completely selfish as a boy. I was the youngest child and I wanted everything. But both on and off the pitch, I learned that it’s good to share things sometimes.

“I transform when I go out onto the pitch. I like to joke around with friends off it. They tell me I have a baby face, but I think like a 30-year-old player.

“But I’ve been taught since a young age that you must always be humble and not think you are bigger than anyone else. That mentality has led me here.”

Mon 16 May, 2016
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