Zdenek Zeman claims former Pescara proteges Marco Verratti and Lorenzo Insigne are the ‘best’ in their respective positions.
Verratti and Insigne rose to prominence under Zeman during the 2011-12 campaign, helping Pescara reach Serie A and Ciro Immobile score 28 goals in the second tier.
With the midfielder now at Paris Saint-Germain and the forward playing for Napoli, the Czech was asked about how the pair were progressing.
“Lorenzo and Marco showed at a very young age that they had something more,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of their Champions League meeting.
“They’ve grown a lot in recent years and they don’t have to stop because they still have room [to grow more].
“Verratti has been the best player in France for two years and the same goes for Lorenzo as the best attacker in our League.
“For me, Verratti is better than Modric. In his role, he’s the best in the world. I called Verratti ‘Marcolino’ [little Marco] and Insigne ‘Lorenzolo’ [little Lorenzo], like one of the seven dwarfs.
“They took to the field with their eyes closed, them and Ciruzzo Immobile. I tried to train them and teach them football. They did everything else with involvement and sacrifice.
“In his early years at Napoli they made him run up and down the wing, as well as defend. That was a mistake. He’s an attacker, he must always be near the opposition goal.
“For me, he has more than 20 goals in him, With me in Pescara, he scored 18 goals and made 14. Ask Immobile how many goals he made him score…
“He was the best player in the League, even if Serie B is different to A. With Sarri he did well, but with him you play one-touch while Insigne likes to take his man on. In that sense, he’s phenomenal.
“With Ancelotti, he has more freedom. The important thing in any case is that the attacker is always looking at the opposition box.”