Wednesday November 14 2012
Verratti: 'Proud to be like Pirlo'

Marco Verratti enjoyed his first senior Italy start and is “proud” to be called an understudy to Andrea Pirlo.

“When I step on to the field, I always do it because I enjoy football and don’t think about the pressure or anything else,” said the 20-year-old after the 2-1 defeat to France.

“Sometimes I might do things as if I was playing at home with my friends. I’m aware of this, but it’s not a bad thing.

“I like being called the understudy to Pirlo, as he is a great player and it makes me proud that some people think I resemble him.

“Italy have a midfield that has nothing to envy anyone else in the world. It’s true I have never played alongside Andrea, so it’s unlikely we’ll use that system in a game.

“I think this team is capable of supporting a 4-3-3, as Stephan El Shaarawy, Antonio Candreva, Claudio Marchisio and Riccardo Montolivo have all used it before.

“I believe we were unlucky today, as we hit the crossbar twice and deserved more than a defeat. I was in a three-man midfield at the start of my career, so I am used to it and I’m happy we also use three in the middle at PSG.”

Verratti also admitted he still has a lot to learn, especially for his part in Mathieu Valbuena’s opening goal tonight.

“I do go into a sliding tackle when defending and from the ground I can’t really help. Coach Ancelotti talks to me about it all the time too, so I am really working on this. I know it’s not easy for a club like PSG with so much money to rely on a youngster like me, so I have to keep working to get better.”

Verratti faces a difficult choice next summer, as the Confederations Cup coincides with Italy’s participation in the European Under-21 Championship.

“It’s not up to me, as Italy is Italy and I would be very proud to take part in either. I will go where I am needed the most.”

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