Former Argentina international Hernan Crespo believes compatriot Gonzalo Higuain is some way short of matching the quality of superstar trio of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Napoli striker scored for an eighth home game in succession on Monday, with his brace against Inter sending Maurizio Sarri’s men top of Serie A and bolstering hopes of a first Scudetto since 1990.
Crespo – a three-time Serie A winner with Inter – feels Higuain is more closely matched to Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Barcelona’s Luis Suarez, rather than Messi, Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic.
The Modena coach also maintains Higuain is helped by a lack of quality within Italy’s top flight.
“Among the ‘humans’, the best around at the moment are definitely Higuain, Lewandowski and Suarez,” Crespo told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I consider Messi, Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic as three supermen – three star players playing on the moon. Il Pipita [Higuain] is dragging Napoli along brilliantly, but he must make a big leap in quality to reach his colleagues from Bayern and Barcelona.
“Sure, he is the best player in the league, but Serie A is not the most difficult. If he produced the same things he is doing now at Napoli with Chelsea, Manchester United, City and Bayern then we’ll talk about real phenomenon.”
Suarez was left off the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or this year, with team-mate Messi and Real Madrid star Ronaldo due to battle it out again alongside Neymar.
Crespo added of the Uruguayan: “Suarez I think is the most complete, he does not suffer from the presence of phenomenons at his side like Messi and Neymar.
“He is very good at dribbling and close control and shoots with both feet. Lewandowski is great acrobatically, I also like Vardy of Leicester.”