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Tuesday 15 November 2011

Petrov likens Agbonlahor to Ronaldo

Villa skipper says forward's talent is up there with world's elite

Gabriel Agbonlahor enjoyed an excellent start to the season in an Aston Villa shirt

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has likened forward Gabriel Agbonlahor to former Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

Agbonlahor, 24, was in stunning form in Villa's 2-0 win over Wigan in the Barclays Premier League, scoring a superb solo goal and then breaking away down the left to set up Darren Bent to score the second.

Petrov is a huge admirer of Agbonlahor's ability and says while he feels his team-mate deserves greater recognition, it is now up to him to maintain his current level.

"People talk about Ronaldo, but when you look at the assets of Gabby, you can put him in the same bracket," said Bulgarian Petrov.

"I've always said to him: 'You don't know how good you are and the ability you've got'. He can take the Premier League by storm because not many people have got what he's got - the strength, the speed, the goalscoring and the creating goals.

"I'm trying to give him encouragement. I thought he was outstanding in the win over Wigan - that's the Gabby we know, taking people on. Players are so scared of his pace and that game was all about him."

Petrov insists there are other Villa players with the potential to achieve greatness, and all they need to be successful is a bit more self-belief.

He said: "We have players with unbelievable talent. We want them to show just what they can do regularly.

"We saw what Gabby was all about against Wigan. Every time he got the ball they were scared."

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Key Points

  • Skipper Petrov salutes Villa forward's talent
  • Says 24-year-old is in 'same bracket' as Ronaldo
  • Bulgarian says self-belief is key to realising talent