Marco Verratti has revealed his delight at being including in Italy’s 23-man squad for the World Cup, but feels sorry for those who didn’t make it.
The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder was named in Cesare Prandelli’s travelling party for the tournament after impressing in Saturday’s friendly with Republic of Ireland.
But despite being given the call, the youngster has admitted he feels bad for the likes of Riccardo Montolivo and Giuseppe Rossi – both of whom will stay at home.
“I was called into the 30 and the priority for me was to give my best so as to be in the 23,” he told a Press conference.
“I gave my best, but of course I feel sorry for those who didn’t make it. Football is all about choices, and you just have to respect them.
“I didn’t give myself any goals to reach – I just wanted to give my best every day and train as well as I could.
“I’ve always received compliments from the Coach. But I always have to listen to what he tells me. His advice is invaluable.
“I can’t imagine what Riccardo is going through at the moment. His injury has shaken us all up a bit. But now we have to take this opportunity that has been offered to us by the Coach.”
Verratti then commented on Zdenek Zeman’s role in his career – having been Coach at Pescara two seasons ago.
“Two years ago I was in Serie B and now I’m going to the World Cup. It’s certainly a pleasure to be sharing this with [former teammates] Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne.
“Zeman was a great teacher. He helped my game on a fundamental level. I’ve grown a lot since then, but he helped me a lot.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!