Almunia praise for Forestieri

Manuel Almunia claims to see similarities between Watford loan

star Fernando Forestieri and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

Forestieri is among those to have been drafted into the Vicarage

Road ranks following the arrival of the Pozzo family.

Their links with Serie A outfit Udinese have allowed Watford to

bring in a number of players on short-term deals, with the

agreements intended to aid the development of both parties.

Forestieri has shone during his time in the Championship and

former Arsenal goalkeeper Almunia believes the 22-year-old has the

potential to follow in the illustrious footsteps of a fellow


He said: “He is just like Messi – a small, tricky player who is

good with the ball and finishing.

“I played against Barcelona’s Messi in the Champions League, but

I was too busy to spend any time appreciating his football. We are

talking about the best player in the history of football.”

Almunia has, however, warned that Forestieri is far from the

finished article, with a dismissal for diving in a recent fixture

with Charlton highlighting his immaturity.

He added: “He needs to look at a few areas of his game and avoid

getting involved with referees.

“But he is new to England and young. He feels he has to score a

goal every game to make himself known to the Italian media, so he

is a little bit too anxious.”