Thursday June 20 2013
Step down not easy for Verratti

Marco Verratti admits he did struggle to perform at the European Under-21 Championship after being brought back into the Azzurrini set-up.

The Paris Saint-Germain player has been regularly included in Cesare Prandelli’s full squad over the last 12 months.

However, instead of going to the Confederations Cup in Brazil this month, Verratti was sent to Israel.

“I perhaps could have done better,” the 20-year-old told the Corriere dello Sport.

“But I have to add that I was a late addition to a squad which was already formed and I had to settle in a team which plays differently to what I am used to.

“It was not easy. With the Under-21 side we had two wingers, whereas I have different work to carry out in Paris.

“I gave my all, especially in the defensive phase.”

Italy reached the Final of the championship, but they could do nothing to beat Spain – who collected a 4-2 triumph against them on Tuesday.

“I have no regrets,” added the former Pescara youth. “We have to be honest – Spain are the strongest. They made us chase them all over the pitch without ever getting hold of them.

“The experience, though, was fantastic and it gave me the opportunity to get to know another Coach, Devis Mangia, who deserves a job in Serie A.”

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