Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian thinks it is "impossible" for him to emulate the success of club legends Gary Neville and Patrice Evra. The 26-year-old signed for the Old Trafford club in 2015 and has admitted the ex-United duo are sources of inspiration.
However, he does not wish to be compared to Neville and Evra, both of whom enjoyed trophy-laden spells with the Premier League club. "They are two full-backs that have created football history, not only at Manchester United but in the world," he told the club's official website.
"I've seen them both play, they have both been two very important pillars for United. They've contributed to the success of the club," the former Torino star explained.
"Patrice played in Italy last season so I had the possibility of more contact with him. I played against him twice in the derbies [against Juventus], and in Italy he is proving to be a champion just like he was at United. Obviously, Gary Neville was captain at United and is a legend at the club, the victories he had, the trophies he won ... his story speaks volumes."
The United defender insisted it was tough to draw any parallels between himself and the fullbacks. "Making comparisons with other great players is always difficult. They are both champions. Instead of comparing them, it's nicer to refer to them as idols to follow," he said.
"They were so great it's almost impossible to reach what they achieved, but they can be an incentive to always give more and always work to your best to try to at least get a bit closer to what they did."
Darmian observed that the duo became United legends on account of their consistently excellent performances in trophy-winning teams. "They've had a lot of success and become legends of a very important club, that's probably their greatest achievement, all the trophies that they won here and having become points of reference of this club," he added.