Tuesday September 3 2019
Verratti: Stop games for racism

Marco Verratti claims games must be stopped for racism, Italy dropping Moise Kean and Nicolo Zaniolo was ‘right’ and that ‘I’m not at PSG for the money.’

Kean and Zaniolo were left out of the latest Italy squad for their show of lateness with the Under-21s, and Verratti hopes their absence will serve as a lesson.

“I think leaving out Kean and Zaniolo was the right decision, with social media now for young players...” the midfielder told Rai Sport.

“I don't think it’s punishment but rather to make them understand that when you’re so young, you have to more than others.”

The 26-year-old then had his say on the racial abuse suffered by Inter striker Romelu Lukaku against Cagliari.

“You have to stop games because otherwise we won’t go anywhere. I know it’s a big step to take, but we have to do it because otherwise those 4-5 stupid people will always be there.

“Lukaku’s appeal was right. It’s up to us players to show we can be role models for all ages.

“We carry great influence. If it starts with us, that’s a good thing.”

The midfielder’s loyalty to Paris Saint-Germain has long been questioned, but he now has Mauro Icardi as a teammate.

“Icardi at PSG was a nice surprise. I didn’t see it coming it until yesterday. He’ll give us a hand.

“We’re a good group, but having competition makes a player grow. If you want to win and be competitive in every competition, you must have players like him.

“There aren’t many like him in the box. He’ll give us a hand, help us grow and he’ll grow himself.

“I’m not here for the money, I’m here for the project and because PSG have ambition.

“It’s not easy to win here, we can do more in Europe. Being part of a project makes me feel alive.

“I didn’t want to be one of many, but rather one who brought this team as high as possible.

“When I see figures of 80-90m doing the rounds, I could ask for a much more lucrative contract.”