Inter Milan midfielder Kristjan Asllani feels that his teammate Nicolo Barella is “one of the best midfielders in the world.”

The 22-year-old Albanian international spoke to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia, via FCInterNews.

Inter midfielder Asllani is likely to start for Albania in the Eagles’ EURO 2024 group stage opener on Saturday.

They take on Italy in their first match of the tournament.

And there is little doubt that the former Empoli man will be taking on some of his teammates from club level.

Italy have a large contingent of Inter players under Luciano Spalletti at these Euros.

There will likely be three or four Nerazzurri players at least in the lineup on Saturday.

And one of them could be Barella.

There would normally be no doubt of Barella’s inclusion in the team for either Inter or Italy. The 27-year-old is certainly one of the most important players for the Azzurri.

But the problem is that Barella is just coming back from an injury.

The former Cagliari midfielder missed both of Italy’s warmup friendly matches due to some muscular fatigue in his right thigh.

Kristjan Asllani: “Nicolo Barella One Of The Best Midfielders In The World”

If Barella is to play, then he will be going directly head-to-head with Asllani.

The two midfielder may work together at club level. But on Saturday, they would be each trying to wrestle control of the midfield battle for opposite sides.

Asllani said of Barella that “He’s a top player. One of the best midfielders in the world at the moment.”

“I know the quality that Bare has,” the 22-year-old continued.

“If Barella isn’t in the team, then there will be someone else good, though. [Italy] have great players and we respect them, but we have to take to the pitch without fear.”

Of seeing so many of his club teammates, Asllani said that “It’s always a great feeling to see my friends.”

“And above all, to face Italy. A country in which I’ve lived for many years.”

“It’s a special match for me,” Asllani continued. “But I’ll have to put my emotions aside and just think about the match.”

The Albanian also noted that “I spoke with Frattesi after his goal against Bosnia. I congratulated him.”

“Let’s hope he doesn’t score against us,” he added. “His forward runs are always very dangerous.”