Gerard Deulofeu believes comparisons to Lionel Messi were detrimental to his career.
Deulofeu, 23, was touted as a potential successor to Barcelona icon Messi after a rapid rise through Barcelona’s academy.
His career did not go as he had initially planned, eventually leaving the Nou Camp for Everton on full-time basis in 2015.
Deulofeu says that he remembers the headlines comparing him to Messi – and believes that people began to expect too much from him as a result.
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“In the end, [the comparisons] were more detrimental than beneficial,” he told Forza Milan.
“Normally I don’t read newspapers, but that headline I remember well. It created too much expectation among Barcelona fans. There’s only one Messi.
“My future? It’ll be seen to. My dream is in the present, from experience I know it’s best to leave the past behind and focus on the present.
“We’ll see what happens in the future. For now, I just want to enjoy the good time that I‘m having at Milan.
“My idol? Ronaldinho, he was someone I admired when I played for Barcelona. For me, he was always a point of reference.
“[Iker] Muniain? We talk often. We’ve said it’d be nice to play together in the same team one day.”
Deulofeu has made 10 appearances for AC Milan since his January loan move, scoring one goal.