Paulo Dybala gave a telling interview with La Repubblica where he explained how ‘Claudio Marchisio told me we have to win everything next year.’
The 21-year-old striker spoke with the Italian daily about a range of subjects including his Italian heritage, Lionel Messi and how he acquired a winning mentality when he joined Juventus.
“I’ve gained the desire to win, which is a strange and difficult thing,” Dybala explained.
“After the final in Berlin, I returned with the squad on the plane, and one thing really struck me.
“Marchisio came over to introduce himself, and he told me: ‘prepare well, we have to win everything next year’.
“It was incredible, they’d just played a Champions League final, and instead of thinking about their holidays they were thinking about the next one.
“That’s where I could measure the distance between Palermo and Juventus.”
Dybala went on to explain how his role at Juve contrasts from his playing position at Palermo.
“Iachini wanted me as the main striker, whereas Allegri keeps me more in-behind. I often have the ball at my feet, it’s the work Vazquez did at Palermo, and here I share it with Morata.
“I was hoping to get 15 goals this season, but since I’m already at 10 I’ll have to change the number. I’m ahead of schedule for everything.
“I have my family to tell me what others wouldn’t dare, though I’m very self-critical and I know what I’m doing wrong. My brothers will give me a slap if I need it.
“Gustavo is 35-years-old, Mariano is 32. They were good at football, but didn’t have the courage or desire that I had to go all-in, to follow a dream.”
La Joya also discussed his Italian and Polish heritage and how he came to his decision to play for the Argentine national team.
“I feel 100 per cent Argentinian, though I look foreign with these pale eyes,” Dybala told La Repubblica.
“When I had to choose, I had no doubts
“I didn’t make any calculations. I know that I’d have less competition for Italy or Poland, but I want to play for Argentina and I never asked questions or thought about switching sides.
“I wouldn’t be happy in a national team that didn’t feel like mine, to hear an anthem that isn’t my own, in colours that don’t belong to me.
“My friend Franco Vazquez has an Italian mother. I only have an Italian passport thanks to a great-grandmother who I know nothing about. He feels Italian, I don’t.”
Dybala has been dubbed ‘The new Messi’, a player he feels is unfairly criticized in his homeland.
“I’ll study Messi. Meeting him is the only dream I have that hasn’t come true, because when I was called-up for Argentina he wasn’t there.
“I’ve never spoken to him, I’ve never played against him but I follow everything that he does, and I think I could also learn a lot from him on a human level.
“For us young Argentines, the reference point is him. Unlike Maradona, he hasn’t won the World Cup and people attack him.
“I won’t make comparisons. We had Diego, we have Leo and we complain? We criticise Messi, we’re crazy.
“One day Messi won’t be there. Let’s enjoy him. Let’s enjoy Aguero, Di Maria… training with them is a blessing and an emotional thing.
“When I play with Messi, I think I’ll give him the ball even if he has five opponents around him.”