El Shaarawy has endured a difficult start to the 2013-14 campaign, with a dip in form resulting in reduced playing time for both Milan and Italy.
The 'Little Pharaoh' revealed that Neymar made a strong impression on him at close quarters during the Confederations Cup in a wide-ranging interview, which also covered his allegiance to the Azzurri.
He told Mundo Deportivo: "My idols? I have several. It is great to see Kaka back, and Del Piero was also someone I looked up to. Francesco Totti as well is someone I like. It is a pleasure to play against him now.
"I'm Italian, so I've never thought about playing for Egypt. I am proud of my roots, but Italy is my home.
"The best player in the world? I guess at the moment that's Neymar. I played against him and it was amazing."
The 20-year-old has played 10 times for his country under Cesare Prandelli, while becoming a regular for Milan during two full seasons at the San Siro.