Saturday October 5 2013
Verratti: 'Why I turned down Juve'

Marco Verratti reveals he was “close to joining Juventus, but I wanted to play and not be a reserve” so he opted to join PSG.

The 20-year-old midfielder is already a full Italy international and spoke to Radio Deejay in Italy.

“There are more experienced players at PSG who almost act as my teachers. We are a good group, both on and off the field.

“I have a new tactical position now that lets me push forward more and see the goal consistently. I received far too many yellow cards last season, but I have calmed down and learn to control myself.”

Verratti was asked which of his teammates scored higher on the ‘crazy scale’ – Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Italy’s Mario Balotelli.

“Neither of them are crazy, they just have strong personalities and are two big characters. Do I really have to choose one who is crazier? Balotelli.”

Verratti shot to fame under Zdenek Zeman at Pescara, but moved to Paris Saint-Germain before even making a Serie A debut.

“I owe a lot to Zeman because he was so good at teaching me how to move and pass. If I were to return to Italy, I’d love it to be at Pescara, because it’s my hometown club and the side I support.

“It’s true I was very close to joining Juventus, but I wanted to play and not be a reserve. At that point I decided to stay at Pescara, but then PSG came and promised me an important role within the team, so I agreed a move to France.”

He is often nicknamed ‘the new Andrea Pirlo’ and is looking forward to the 2014 World Cup.

“A side like Italy should target going all the way, but we know this is a very complicated competition.”

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