Marco Verratti admits he is “not satisfied with my performance” after Italy’s 2-1 friendly defeat to Argentina.
“I had some problems in my calf at the end. It’s tough to keep fit at the moment and we were pushing hard to chase the game late on, but it was just a little fatigue,” the PSG talent told RAI Sport.
Verratti was given a rare senior Italy start in place of Andrea Pirlo, leading the Azzurri midfield and wearing the Number 10 jersey.
“Fortunately I didn’t feel nervous because my teammates put me at ease. In the first half-hour we were not great and woke up after Argentina’s goal.
“They have wonderful strikers and we kept getting caught out on the counter-attack. It was more of a team problem than individuals, but we fought back and went close to the equaliser.
“No, I’m not satisfied with my performance. I know that I can do better, though games can go well or less well and I always try to give my best. I am slowly cutting out the sliding challenges and hope to end this habit as time goes on.
“People tell me Pirlo’s shoes are big to fill, but that’s a compliment. Football always has pressure and that is only right, as it is better to have a lot of pressure and expectation than none at all.”
There were reports Paris Saint-German turned down Fiorentina’s €25m offer for Verratti this summer.
“It was never a real negotiation. Fiorentina asked for information, but PSG and I decided to continue together as there is a great project. We aim to win the League again and hopefully do better in the Champions League with Edinson Cavani and Marquinhos.”