Wednesday November 14 2012
Abete: 'Test for Italy and Verratti'

FIGC President Ignazio Abete sees tonight’s friendly against France as a good test for Italy “and Marco Verratti.”

The midfielder was plucked from the Under-21 side and makes his first start at senior level this evening at the Stadio Tardini.

“Young players are very important and in those terms the Nazionale and Coach Cesare Prandelli are working very well,” Abete told Sky Sport Italia.

“I also see that clubs are choosing this path of focusing on youth, partly due to the economic crisis.

“It is still early to compare Verratti with Andrea Pirlo, who is a treasure of our football. He is playing in the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain, but Prandelli wants to test him out against France.

“Pirlo is absolutely not up for debate, of course. He is worthy of the Ballon d’Or.”