Paulo Dybala refuses to make any promises on staying at Juventus for life, insisting that he only thinks about the present.

The Argentine was handed the ’10’ shirt earlier this year and Juve director Beppe Marotta said he wants La Joya to remain at Juventus for life.


On his future

“I won’t make any promises, especially since it’s not just down to me,” Dybala told France Football.

“At this moment though I’m not saying: ‘this is my last year, I’m going’. I think about the present and all there is to win.

“The club suggested I play in the number 10, it’s an honour. In modern football we don’t know what the future will be, we had striking examples of that this summer.”

On the Ballon d’Or and challenging Neymar once Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi retire.

“Yes, it would be a nice challenge! Messi and Ronaldo have done incredible things, but Neymar is very close to their level, he has a chance for the next Ballon d’Or.

“As for me I’m waiting, I’m working to reach that level and win personal trophies.

“When I was little, after school, when the summer came we’d gather around a camp fire. One time, we each made a wish.

“Me, I said I wanted to be the best player in the world, and therefore win the Ballon d’Or.”


On the move from Argentina to Italy

“I never felt the pressure. My father was demanding, but in line with my level of play. If I’m here now it’s thanks to him. He wanted me to get better every day, but he never said to me: ‘I won’t buy you this if you don’t keep playing football’.

“He would take me to Cordoba for the matches or training sessions. After his death [when Dybala was 15] it was difficult to take the bus and to go alone.

“I asked my club, Instituto, to let me have six months with my town’s team so I could be closer to my family. My brothers took over from him in terms of motivation.

“Losing your father is painful, but we’re not the first or the last this has happened to, life goes on, even if everything was easier before.”


On his nickname of ‘La Joya’

“It was a journalist in Cordoba who gave it to me after my first goal in my second match, to denote something which could be expensive. My friends and my family just call me Paulo though.”

On the move to Palermo

“I’m conscious of how different my particular path was. If you evolve in a big Argentinian club you understand the mental pressure and it prepares you for Europe. Instituto were a big team, but in the second division.

“I could have stayed in my country and gone to a decorated club, but when Palermo came in I said to myself: ‘why not?’.

“I also thought of the path of  Cavani and Pastore. I said to my family that I wanted to go to progress.

“I knew Italian football, but I didn’t think I’d play all of the matches.

“Do I regret not joining a big Argentinian team? Not really, because in my year in the second division we had Quilmes, Rosario and David Trezeguet’s River Plate.

“I always dreamed of a big Argentinian club, but once I got to Palermo I forgot about all of that. And if I’d stayed longer it could have complicated things.”


On developing as a player at Palermo

“Exactly, above all the second in Serie B because it’s a more physical league. It was an incredible season too, we were promoted with five games to spare, the team behind us were 14 points back.

“I discovered another facet of calcio, and it helped me for the next season before I signed for Juve.

“I had offers to return to Argentina after Palermo’s relegation but I rejected them. If you go back to your country it’s difficult to dream of Europe, because you give the sensation that you failed the first time.

“I preferred to stay and fight, and I did well.

“I didn’t expect to come, bang in 50 goals and leave. I was 18 and coming from the Argentinian second division, I wanted to learn in one of the best leagues in Europe, I knew it wouldn’t be easy.”


Have things changed since joining Juventus?

“Hugely. You play three competitions, the matches are harder, you go all-out in training every day. You need to be ready to win everything and you need to pay attention to the details. That’s what the great champions do.”


On Gigi Buffon

“It’s a great honour to have him as my teammate,” Dybala said.

“It’s difficult to find the words. The simple fact of journeying with him, you tell yourself: ‘there’s Gigi, a legend alongside you’.

“People admire him, he’s respected by everyone, everywhere. He’s almost 40 but he trains like he’s 20. He’s an example of desire and love for football.”


On scoring goals

“I’m the first to say that I have to progress, but above all I think of playing a great match.

“If I make a decisive pass, I’m proud. The perfect example is against Milan. I didn’t score, but I think I put in a great performance.

“I was the source of two goals for Higuain, I helped the team to keep the ball, to win time, to obtain fouls.

“The important thing is that the team performs well, even if I’d like to score in every game.

“I must make sure not to drain myself, running for no reason or wanting to dribble past three or four players.

“It also depends how the match goes, sometimes we exhaust ourselves defending, we play deep and afterward we have to travel 80 metres to reach the goal, then I lose lucidity.”


On his former teammates Dani Alves and Paul Pogba

“I must admit I miss Dani Alves and Pogba. Alves has an amazing vision and is really self-confident, he is one of the best players I’ve ever seen. Pogba is a friend of mine, we were on very good terms on and off the pitch.”