Juventus moved ten points clear at the top of Serie A after Paulo Dybala came back to haunt his former club Palermo and inspire a 4-1 win with two goals and an assist for compatriot Gonzalo Higuaín.
Prior to kickoff Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini, who brought Dybala to Italy from Instituto, heaped praise on his former starlet.
“We are talking about the new Messi. He will become a player like Messi and he is already at that level.
“Ok, he does not score as much as last season, but he is always man of the match for Juventus whenever I see him play. He is the type of attacker who plays for the team and puts others in the position to score.
“I would say he is worth €140 or €150 million. Like I said, he is the new Messi. I have been saying that he is destined to become a star ever since he arrived at Palermo.
“I hope he will stay at Juventus. I think they can hold on to him. But of course there will be approaches. World-class players are always coveted by everyone. But I hope he will stay at Juventus for a long time.”
Zamparini didn’t have to wait long to see evidence of his claim when Dybala curled a free kick against the post and shortly after Claudio Marchisio fired Juventus ahead.
The Bianconeri were dominant and just before the break Dybala got his goal with an exquisitely struck free kick.
After half time the reported Real Madrid target slipped in Gonzalo Higuaín for Juve’s third before the Argentina number nine repaid the favour and backheeled the ball into the path of Dybala to slot in his second.
Ivailo Chochev pulled a goal back in stoppage time for Palermo but there was no stopping Juventus, who claimed an impressive 29th consecutive home win and with it took a firm grip on a sixth straight scudetto.