Former Napoli and Juventus midfielder Massimo Mauro has claimed neither Lorenzo Insigne or Paulo Dybala are a true number ten for their respective clubs, as the head-to-head battle between his former clubs current stars draw comparisons to an old rivalry between Michel Platini and Diego Maradona.
Due to his previous involvement with both Napoli and Juventus, Mauro has a foot in both camps and admits both Insigne and Dybala are stars of the future - as he also reveals who he would choose to take a 90th minute free-kick for each club.
When asked which of Insigne or Dybala is a more natural number 10, Mauro told Gazzetta dello Sport, via Football Italia: “Neither of them is a 10, at least if we think about the way Platini and Maradona interpreted the role.
“Dybala is more of a nine-and-a-half, a deep-lying striker who gives his best in the final 30 metres.
“Insigne is a 10-and-a-half, because he starts on the wing and then arrives in the goal zone.
“Last year they tried to make him a pure trequartista, but I think he’s more effective in a 4-3-3 because he knows how to contribute in the defensive phase too.
“Which would I choose to take a 90th-minute free-kick? Neither of the two, instead one between [Miralem] Pjanic and [Dries] Mertens. In my opinion they’re the real set piece specialists.
With the duo drawing similarities with Platini and Maradona, Mauro - who played alongside both former stars - added: “It’s not something to make comparisons about, but the suggestion is strong.
“There are two elements of indisputable talent who can excite people. They recall their distinguished predecessors, they have a way of turning their ankle when they kick to direct the ball which is typical of the great ones.
“Juve spent so much on Dybala and he’s fit in really well at a prestigious club. He’s changed his role since Palermo and expanded his repertoire.
“Insigne has taken the role of a prophet at home, it’s never easy anywhere but particularly in Naples. He’s shown personality and he’s also succeeded in putting some difficult times behind him and convincing a sceptical crowd.
“What are they missing? I’d have liked Dybala to be decisive in the Champions League final against Real [Madrid] but it must be said that even Platini and Maradona didn’t win alone and the team didn’t particularly support him.
“Insigne, like everyone at Napoli, needs to win something important. It’s great to see him play and it’s nice to admire [Maurizio] Sarri’s team but it’s time to collect some trophies,” he added.