Likened to Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero and Vincenzo Montella, 21-year-old Paulo Dybala has joined finalists Juventus. UEFA.com profiles the Argentinian forward.
Contenuti top media
Juventus have signed 21-year-old forward Paulo Dybala from US Città di Palermo for a fee that could rise as high as €40m. The Argentinian marksman was already being linked with the Bianconeri when picked as one of UEFA.com's weekly wonderkids at the beginning of last month.
The profile below is an updated version of that feature, originally published on Saturday 9 May.
Name: Paulo Dybala
Serie A debut: 3 September 2012 v SS Lazio
Date of birth: 15/11/1993
Preferred foot: left
They say …
"I received offers for him from Milan, Inter and Juventus in Italy, as well as offers which were a bit higher from abroad, but I think Dybala chose the best team for him; he's the new [Lionel] Messi, and he'll find players there who speak the same language."
Maurizio Zamparini, Palermo president
"Dybala is a quality player. He's young, but I think he'll become a top-class forward."
Roberto Mancini, FC Internazionale Milano coach
Born in Laguna Larga, Argentina, the striker started his career at home-town club Instituto AC Córdoba. At 15, he lost his father and began to sleep in their facilities, earning the nickname 'el pibe de la pensión' – the boy of the guesthouse.
Dybala made his professional debut at 17 and quickly became Córdoba’s youngest-ever goalscorer – surpassing the record held by Argentina great and FIFA World Cup winner Mario Kempes. Was dubbed 'La Joya' (the Jewel) after his maiden season with the second-tier side yielded 17 goals in 38 outings. Secured a move to Sicilian outfit Palermo in 2012.
Playing style …
A mobile modern forward, Dybala is blessed with pace while his close-control, exquisite technique and slalom dribbles create openings – usually dispatched via his powerful left foot.
Shades of …
Is frequently likened to compatriot Lionel Messi. However, Uruguay ace Diego Forlán has compared him to Sergio Agüero, whereas former Palermo midfielder Enzo Maresca insists Dybala reminds him of Vincenzo Montella.
Eureka moment …
Dybala struck three times during a disappointing first term in Italy as Palermo were relegated. The Rosanero gained promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt, though the youngster registered only five times in 28 appearances.
Unbowed, the Argentinian made a spectacular start to the current campaign. A five-match scoring streak in November positioned Dybala among Serie A's leading marksmen – and alongside the Albiceleste's finest in Italy, Carlos Tévez and Gonzalo Higuaín. His end-of-season return of 13 goals and ten assists from 34 games prompted La Gazzetta dello Sport to write: "He is King Midas."
He said …
"When I will leave Palermo, I will miss the sea and the fish – but mostly the many friends I have made during my time here. However, playing in the UEFA Champions League is every player's dream, and mine too, I can't deny it." That dream has now come true.