Rui Costa’s verdict on Piatek and Paqueta

Ex-Milan star Rui Costa has played down the comparisons of Lucas Paqueta and Krzysztof Piatek to fellow Milan greats Kaka and Andriy Shevchenko but revealed his admiration for both players.

The Serie A legend who previously played for both Fiorentina before moving to AC Milan where he won the Scudetto, Champions League and Coppa Italia before retirement.

Costa currently works as a sporting director for Benfica, and the former Portugal midfielder admits he tried to sign Paqueta before his move to Milan.

“I followed Paqueta in Brazil,” he told Sky Sports Italia.

“Given the job I do, I know him well. He has great quality. I wanted to bring him to Benfica, but I couldn’t sign him: he was too expensive for a Portuguese club.

“He has quality and age on his side to grow and develop in a difficult League like the Italian one.

“He’ll be himself, as he should be. Kaka was a No 10, but he also had the power that I’ve rarely seen in a No 10 and may never see again.

“He was out of the ordinary. He was Kaka. And Paqueta is Paqueta: I’ve seen him play as a central midfielder.

“Technically he’s very strong. He has a wonderful, velvety left foot.”

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Then when asked about another recent acquisition in Piatek who joined in January from Genoa, the 46-year-old admitted he’s a great striker.

“I know him less than Paqueta, but needless to say he’s a great striker,” he continued.

“I was surprised by his adaptability: he only spent a few months at Genoa but scored so many goals.

“It would’ve been easy to say that Milan, a unique club with unique history and huge pressure, was a complicated move for him or, at least, he needed time.

“Instead, it’s been nothing like that: he came in and has scored a lot, even in important games.

“It seems like he’s been there for a lifetime. He’s been impressive. But even in this case, making comparisons is useless.

“Piatek isn’t Sheva or anyone else, but he’s brought different solutions to Milan’s attack and solved many problems.

“I was lucky enough to play with great strikers and I can say that playing with them calms your nerves.”

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