As reported by

Stoke forward Bojan Krkic has admitted that Lionel Messi comparisons stopped him fulfilling his potential. 

The Spaniard made his first-team breakthrough in 2007 with Barcelona at 17-years-old, breaking Lionel Messi’s record as the club’s youngest player to feature in a La Liga match.

His impressive start to life at senior level, along with an incredible goalscoring record at youth level, meant that Bojan was inevitably compared to Messi – a comparison that the forward simply couldn’t shake off, piling the pressure on him at a young age.

“You need to control the things you can do,” Bojan told BBC Sport. “My first year I scored 10 goals in La Liga. Then people started saying ‘yeah, the new Messi’.

“You can do nothing about this. In the end, I know my qualities and I know I’m not Messi. I’m Bojan. If people say ‘this guy was not the new Messi’, yeah I was not the new Messi.”

Even after Bojan left Barcelona to join AS Roma in 2011, he still couldn’t rid himself of the “new Messi” tag, something that he has only recently learned to deal with.

“It’s not easy,” he continued. “Messi scores three goals every game. If you score one goal, you’re not Messi. When I went to Rome and Milan, you go there not as Bojan, you go as a new star, a new Messi.

“So if you go there and play good, it’s not enough. You need to be the best, you need to be the

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