When discussions regarding the best football player in the world take place at coffee shops, bars and any other venue fans around the world meet, the names that are thrown out the most are probably Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Of course there are other names that are also discussed. And usually these players play for clubs in London or Manchester, England. Some play for clubs in Barcelona or Madrid Spain and or Milan or Torino, Italy.
One player who probably doesn’t enter into any of these conversations but maybe should doesn’t play in any of the above mentioned cities.
Instead it on the island of Sicily where you will find a player that has the potential to be the best player in the world. He still has maturing to do, but Javier Pastore is certainly the best player to have ever played his trade in Sicily.
While lots of people have been given titles of ‘potential’, the only thing that might be holding him back from becoming more widely discussed as one of the world’s best is the fact that he is he doesn’t play for an elite club.
The 21-year-old Argentine is in his second season with Palermo, the team that plays in Sicily’s largest city.
An attacking midfielder who stands 1.87 meters (6-foot-2), Pastore is blessed with an amazing touch and excellent vision. His all-around game that is very similar to that of Brazilian star Kaka of Real Madrid. He was the youngest player on Argentina’s team in the World Cup, but played briefly in just two matches.
Pastore’s name has consistently been mentioned in transfer talks of late. But Pastore doesn’t seem to mind playing in Sicily. He had opportunities to play in England, Spain and or one of the Milan clubs, when he decided to move to Sicily in the summer of 2009. Palermo paid about 6 million euros for him, a value that has since skyrocketed.
When asked about transfer talks, Pastore has come out an publicly stated that he is not worth 50 million euros, which is believed to be what Palermo would ask for if a club is to take their star away. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona are among the many teams that have sought his services.
You would argue he is correct. Pastore is probably worth more than 50 million. And it is for that reason that Palermo owner Maurizio Zamperini is in no hurry to cash in on his most recent superstar. In past years Palermo has earned a lot of cash in the transfer market through the sales of forwards Luca Toni and Amauri.
But neither of those of players commanded anything close to what it will take for another club to pry him away from Sicily.
After six matches in Serie A this season, Pastore has scored three goals. He also has one in four appearances in the Europa League.
Two weeks ago, Pastore showed his true worth when he led his side to a 3-1 away victory over Juventus. In the match, Pastore had four shots on target and drove the Bianconeri defense crazy.
One has to remember that Pastore has done this while playing without the two forwards he worked with last season. Edinson Cavani, who is the shares the league lead with five goals, has moved on to Napoli and Fabrizio Miccoli has been out after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament late last season.
Despite the losses of Cavani, Miccoli and top defender Simon Kjaer, who was sold to German side Wolsburg, Pastore has kept Palermo in the top half of the Serie A standings.
If Pastore continues to play with more consistency like he has in some recent games, it will not be long before his name starts getting thrown into the mix when conversations of the world’s best players come up.