Liverpool, City target Florian Wirtz tipped to have ‘similar career’ to Inter Miami star Lionel Messi

Lewis Oldham
Messi Wirtz
Florian Wirtz is likened to Lionel Messi.

Reported Liverpool and Manchester City target Florian Wirtz has been likened to Lionel Messi, as he can have a “similar career” to the Inter Miami star.

Wirtz has made a huge impact for Bayer Leverkusen this season as he has emerged as one of the best young attacking midfielders in Europe.

The 20-year-old has 17 goals and 19 assists in his 43 appearances for Leverkusen across all competitions this term as the unbeaten German side have clinched the Bundesliga title with several games to spare.

The Germany international’s form has fuelled reports linking him with a move to the Premier League with Liverpool and Man City mooted as potential destinations. 

Wirtz to replicate Messi?

Wirtz has emerged as a potential future contender for the Ballon d’Or and the race for this accolade will be wide open in the coming years with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo out of the picture.

Messi and Ronaldo have dominated this era of football but the two greats are now edging closer towards retirement.

36-year-old Messi *finally* won the World Cup in 2022 and this added to the argument that he is the greatest of all time.

It is going to be hard for anyone to top Messi’s achievements but Leverkusen legend Jens Nowotny thinks Wirtz could “have a similar career”.

“He doesn’t need to shy away from comparisons to players who are truly world-class,” Nowotny said during an interview with Football Transfers.

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“It’s obvious that Lionel Messi, with all that he has achieved, is still on a different level, but in terms of quality, I think Florian has the level to have a similar career. He may have different strengths than Messi but he certainly shares that ability to dominate a game or a team.

“I don’t know where he will go, but due to his being in the German national team, he has the opportunity to talk to players who play in Spain, England and France or in Germany at Bayern München. He will take the next step and wherever he may end up, he will be successful.”

Xabi Alonso’s decision to stick with Leverkusen for at least one more season will likely boost their hopes of keeping their best players this summer.

Wirtz’s father and agent has indicated that the Leverkusen standout will stay where he is “for the next two years”.

“Florian has a contract in Leverkusen until 2027,” Hans Wirtz told Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger. “That will also roughly be the amount of time he will spend in Leverkusen.

“There is no answer to what happens when. We should wait for the next two years and then we will see where the path leads.”

He added: “Florian is very lucky with Xabi Alonso, who has many qualities. He is great with the entire team. This is the right coach at the right time.”

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