Zeki Amdouni tells Sky Sports about his journey through the lower leagues in Switzerland after being released at 13 by top-flight side Servette. Watch Nottingham Forest vs Burnley on Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Premier League, from 6.30pm; kick-off 7.45pm
Sunday 17 September 2023 13:08, UK
Last season, StatsBomb searched for the Under-24 players in Europe that performed the most similarly to Lionel Messi. They picked out Paris Saint-Germain's Xavi Simons, a graduate of Barcelona's La Masia, and Burnley's summer signing Zeki Amdouni.
«Messi is my favourite player,» Amdouni tells Sky Sports tucked away in a small room at Burnley's training ground.
«To be compared with him is a big deal. He is, as I am, a creative player, always asking for the ball and playing in that false nine, or maybe a No 10 role. This is my style, that creativity.»
When his transfer from FC Basel was announced, Spanish publication Marca published a story with the headline 'Burnley signs the Swiss Messi'. Such comparisons would have seemed an impossibility just four years earlier when Amdouni was playing in the Swiss fourth division, worlds apart from the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.
Amdouni, the joint top scorer in last season's Europa Conference League, has emerged from relative obscurity but is now making his mark at the top level. Despite his form for Basel last season, the 22-year-old is still an unknown for many fans across the UK.
Those with a proclivity for trawling the app formerly known as Twitter will perhaps have spotted him in Teletubbyland over the summer. Burnley's creative social media team, who are prolific with their transfer announcement videos, revealed Amdouni's signing with the help of Tinky Winky and the rest ofRead on skysports.com