Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben comparison flatters Lyon's Nabil Fekir
Lyon and France attacker Nabil Fekir says it is flattering to be compared to players like Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben.
Fekir, 22, was voted Ligue 1's Young Player of the Year last season after an outstanding first full campaign that saw him chalk up 13 goals and nine assists.
His form led former France international Bernard Lacombe, advisor to Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas, to compare him to Barcelona and Bayern Munich stars Messi and Robben.
Fekir did a good impression of both players last Saturday, scoring a brilliant left-footed hat trick in Lyon's 4-0 win over Caen to bring his tally for the season to four goals in four matches.
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Speaking ahead of France's game in Portugal on Friday, the Lyon native said it was nice to hear such comparisons.
"Bernard is someone that I appreciate a lot," Fekir told L'Equipe. "It's pleasing but I'm not stopping at that. You're talking all the same about two really great players who have won a lot of titles.
"Me, I'm just trying to give the best of myself. It's certain that when I see them playing, they inspire me and I try to reproduce their actions. I think you can see that on the pitch."
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Fekir scored his first goal for France in a 4-3 friendly defeat against Belgium in June and he feels that his pace, speed of execution and tactical awareness have all improved over the past year.
"I'm not resting on my laurels," he said. "So far I've had a good start to the season. I wouldn't say exceptional though because there were two or three matches, notably against Guingamp, where I wasn't great, like the team.
"Everything is going very quickly, it's true, but I'm a down-to-earth person. I'm keeping my head on my shoulders... I'm still young and I've proved nothing."