What's the story?
Amid comparisons to Barcelona ace Lionel Messi, Newcastle striker Ayoze Perez has heaped praise on the Argentine stating that he is "head and shoulders above every footballer in the world".
In case you didn't know...
Perez honed the spotlight during his time in Spanish second tier outfit Tenerife and soon drew interest from La Liga giants Barcelona and their rivals Real Madrid. The striker, however, opted to head to Newcastle United and try his luck in the English top flight instead.
Perez has netted seven goals in twenty-nine appearances for the Magpies so far this season, with the most recent being his phenomenal showing against Everton, where he scored two goals and registered one assist.
Together with fellow forward Salomon Rondon, the 25-year-old helped to register an incredible comeback against Everton to win 3-2. Perez's performance even prompted Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez to liken his pass for Rondon's opener to that of Messi.
The heart of the matter
Perez has responded to the comparisons stating that being likened to Messi in any way is something that is special to him as the Argentine is his "all-time hero".
Speaking to the Daily Star, the striker said, "Messi is my all-time hero, head and shoulders above every footballer in the world."
"So to be mentioned in the same sentence by someone I respect so much was special.
"It also told me I must be doing something right as well."
Newcastle United currently sit at 13th place in the Premier League table and will look to surpass Everton when they face Arsenal in the league on April 2. Meanwhile, Spanish league leaders Barcelona will go head-to-head with Real Betis in La Liga later tonight.