Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso compares Florian Wirtz to

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2023-01-19 13:53

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Xabi Alonso has likened his Bayer Leverkusen wonderkid Florian Wirtz to Lionel Messi.

The talented teenage attacking midfielder, 19, is yet to feature for the German side this season due to a serious knee injury.

But Spanish manager Alonso hyped up Wirtz imminent return to first-team action with Leverkusen by heaping praise on the attacking midfielder and comparing him to Messi, widely considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.

He said: There are good players and there are players who look good on the pitch. The player who looks good does things that are nice, but not necessarily efficient.

Why is Messi so good? Because he knows how and when to play simple passes. Messi says: Youre in a better position? Here, there you have the ball!

Its not always about making the most brilliant move, but the best and smartest. Florian can do that. Thats why hes so good.

Four-cap Germany international Wirtz scored 10 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions last campaign, but picked up a knee injury in March which has kept him out since then.

But he is set to return in Leverkusens first game after the Bundesliga winter break, an away match against Borussia Monchengladbach on January 22.

Wirtz, considered one of the most promising players in Europe, was named newcomer of the season for the 2021-22 season and was also nominated for the Bundesliga team of the season.