Much had been made in the build-up of Juventus’ Champions League clash with Barcelona about Paulo Dybala and the comparisons with compatriot Lionel Messi. The 23-year-old tried to distance himself from such talk but on Tuesday evening in Turin, it was inescapable as Dybala scored twice to give the Italian champions a commanding first leg lead over Barcelona.
There has been in no doubting Dybala’s talent for quite some time now but Tuesday thrust the former Instituto wonderkid into the limelight and while Messi was one of the only Barcelona’s players to leave Turin with any credit, there was no doubting who the star had been.
— Football Polls (@FoootyPolls) April 12, 2017
Dybala’s instinctive turn and shot to open the scoring caught Barcelona by surprise and his precise first time finish to double the lead displayed the same surgical precision.
Dybala is on fire 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/SNIWtSNIOl
— You (@PaanNema) April 11, 2017
Barcelona managed to overturn a greater deficit in the last round against Paris Saint-Germain but will find it far more difficult to reverse this 3-0 scoreline against a more resolute Juventus side.
Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri said: “Dybala showed his quality with an extraordinary performance. He is a great player and he was magnificent. His finishing was great.”
Needless to say the Italian press was quick to proclaim ‘the new Messi’ and any of the prophecies made over the past few years that Dybala could join the likes of the Argentina captain at the very pinnacle of the game suddenly looked far more apt.
Messi has of course been producing this level of performance for years and the test now for Paulo Dybala is to continue improving and maintain such excellence.
After his man of the match display, Dybala said: “As a kid I dreamed of moments like this.
“Today I made it happen. It was a great performance. We knew that we needed to win without conceding any goals, and we did it.”