Marco Verratti is still only 19, but the Italy international has won over PSG fans and admits “I’d love to play alongside Andrea Pirlo.”
The former Pescara midfielder is known as the ‘new Pirlo,’ a comparison that was also made by Paris Saint-Germain Coach Carlo Ancelotti this week after his Champions League debut.
“I haven’t forgotten Pescara and as soon as I get two days off, I head straight back home,” he told La Repubblica newspaper.
“I dreamed of making my Serie A debut with my hometown club and I owe them everything. Money was the last reason why I chose PSG, as I thought about this club as a turning point.
“It is one of the most important teams in Europe today and we can win everything. The Champions League represents a great shop window for me.”
Verratti certainly took that chance to shine, as he earned plaudits for his performance in the 4-1 win over Dynamo Kiev.
“Ancelotti tried to relax me before the game. After all, I only have to play football and that is what I have always done. It’s the thing I do best in this life.”
Yet the 19-year-old had been so committed to Pescara that he rejected an opportunity to join Milan a few years ago.
“I didn’t feel ready to leave home, so I said no.”
It would’ve given him the chance to learn from Pirlo, who at the time was still running the Rossoneri midfield.
“I have similar characteristics to Pirlo, but I am convinced that I could play alongside him and I confess I dream of that scenario. It would be wonderful.
“I don’t know if Cesare Prandelli wants to use us together at some point for Italy. I don’t consider it a limitation to be seen as an alternative to Andrea, but rather believe that is an honour. I include him among the three best midfielders in the world.
“There are far more experienced figures in front of me in the Azzurri pecking order, so I will sit, wait for my chance and learn. Wearing the Italy shirt is a privilege.”