Paulo Dybala: The rise of Juventus’ ‘La Joya’


The 23-year-old Argentinian striker is tremendously talented and was key to helping his side to a 2-0 victory over Monaco in mid-week, writes Sam May.

Dybala even though he failed to have any key chances, was a threat all night on the right channel causing problems to the Monaco defence, and linking up superbly with Dani Alves.

By the next World Cup final, Argentina’s front three in Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero and Gonzalo Higuaín will all be over 30. A place should be available, who should get it?

Turn to Turin and there is one man waiting in the wings, the sensational and remarkable front man, quick, creative and has excellent technical ability. Dybala has achieved just six caps for his national team, but he looks the likely candidate to spearhead the Argentinean attack at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Don’t count Russia out next year at this rate either, he has more than what it takes to take on all three of his teammates for a starting birth.

He has netted nine goals and created six for Juventus in Serie A this season, after scoring 19 and setting up nine last year. Scoring two goals against Barcelona in the quarter final stages of the Champions League has got him four goals in seven starts, and world football is now siting up and taking notice.

His nickname “La Joya” “the jewel”, comes from an Argentinean journalist, after Dybala scored for Cordoba at the age of 17, taking the record for the club’s youngest goalscorer from Mario Kempes. This is a player who could have played for Poland. His grandfather grew up working in Krasniow, before emigrating to Argentina.

Former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan, who played with Agüero during his time at Atlético Madrid, has also compared him as “the new Sergio Agüero”. Forwards Vincenzo Montella, Alessandro Del Piero, and Roberto Baggio, have also previously described Dybala as the number 10 of the future. Great references indeed.

Due to his pace, positioning, intelligent movement, and ball skills, he excels during counter-attacks and at beating the offside trap when making attacking runs. A hardworking player, he is also known for his stamina and defensive contribution off the ball. Dybala is capable of creating chances for teammates, as well as scoring goals himself, due to his vision, passing, link-up play, and ability to drop deep and play off of others. He has powerful and accurate ball-striking ability from both inside and outside the area.

Former Arsenal legend and now TV pundit, Ian Wright gave this thoughts on the striker after the game on Tuesday night: “His movement, his positions he takes up in the box, are excellent” the former Arsenal man said on BT Sport. “His technique is very good and he gets into those spaces where he can arrive and he finishes well. That was a clever finish (against Barcelona); he’s bent it around him. Him and (Gonzalo) Higuaín link up well and in the league, they are doing brilliantly.”

In the reverse fixture at Stade Louis II, he will no doubt cause Leonardo Jardin’s side more problems, linking up with Alves again, and probably help his side to progress to the Champions League final in Cardiff.



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