Matteo Darmian has spoken of his admiration for Gary Neville and Patrice Evra and admits it is almost impossible to match their achievements with Manchester United.
The Red Devils signed Darmain from Torino in the summer, since when the Italian has been used on the right and left of Louis van Gaal’s defence.
The 26-year-old has enjoyed a mixed start to life in the Premier League, with his form having faded after winning United’s Player of the Month award for August.
Darmain has been watching former United full-backs Neville and Evra and accepts it will be difficult to match their standards and trophy haul.
He told the club’s offical website: “They are two full-backs that have created football history, not only at Manchester United but in the world.
“I’ve seen them both play, they have both been two very important pillars for United. They’ve contributed to the success of the club.
“Patrice played in Italy last season so I had the possibility of more contact with him. I played against him twice in the derbies [versus Juventus] and in Italy he is proving to be a champion just like he was at United. Obviously, Gary Neville was captain at United and a legend at the club, the victories he had, the trophies he won… his story speaks volumes.”
When asked how Neville and Evra rank against the great modern full-backs, Darmian said: “Making comparisons with other great players is always difficult. They are both champions. Instead of comparing them, it’s nicer to refer to them as idols to follow.
“They were so great it’s almost impossible to reach what they achieved, but they can be an incentive to always give more and always work to your best to try to at least get a bit closer to what they did.
“They’ve had a lot of success and become legends of a very important club, that’s probably their greatest achievement, all the trophies that they won here and having become points of reference of this club.”