Marco Verratti is arguably the best Italian footballer in the current generation.
The Azzurri star rose to prominence as the architect behind Zdenek Zeman’s Pescara in Serie B during the 2011-2012 season.
Alongside Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne, the midfielder led his hometown club towards an emphatic promotion to Serie A.
Nonetheless, the 28-year-old is yet to play a single minute in Italy’s first division, as he was immediately sold to Paris Saint Germain, and has been in the French capital ever since.
Although the Italian star was back then linked with a move towards Juventus, former general director Giuseppe Marotta preferred to focus on sealing the signature of Paul Pogba back then – which didn’t turn out to be a bad move either.
However, the Old Lady’s loss was PSG’s gain, as Verratti developed into one of the best midfielders in the world, and still has several good years ahead of him.
But despite the fact that a transfer to Turin never materialized, it seems that the Pescara native still has some compassion towards the club.
“I feel important here, to my teammates, the coach and the club. I know my teammates have faith in me and that allows me to give more,” Verratti told Sky Sport Italia as translated by Football Italia.
“I think it’d been 26 years since we were able to eliminate Barcelona. We knew their strength, but we showed what we could do both at Camp Nou and here this evening. We’re very happy,” said the Italian after eliminating the Catalan side from the Champions League round of 16 with a 5-2 result on aggregate.
“We were talking today, when you win the first leg 4-1, the second leg is always a little strange. You want to defend well, but Barcelona are so good in possession and are the perfect side for that. They tire you out so there’s nothing left when you do get on the ball and we were unable to counter the way we wanted to.
“We were also missing some important players like Neymar and Angel Di Maria, so their 3-4-3 formation made it difficult for us.”
“I watched the Juventus game, it’s disappointing, as I have many friends there. It was a bit of a crazy game, but at this level any tiny error can transform a tie. That’s what makes the Champions League so exciting,” Concluded Verratti.