Marco Verratti played a significant role in Paris Saint-Germain advancing past FC Barcelona in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie. In the first-leg at the Camp Nou, the 28-year-old had two assists; meanwhile, Verratti registered two key passes in the return-leg.
The Italy international has turned himself into an indispensable part of the capital club squad. When Verratti is missing from the midfield, Les Parisiens fails to connect their defense and attack.
In an interview with France Football, former FC Bayern Munich and Germany national team midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger had high praise for Verratti. The 36-year-old spoke about Verratti and the maturity he’s seeing in his form over the last year.
“For a few months, and in particular the Lisbon final eight in the 2020 Champions League, I have seen a Marco Verratti at the top of his game. He is a player who has matured a lot and who has gradually asserted himself to become the technical boss of PSG. I liked him against Barcelona in the first leg with an incredible generosity in the game without the ball. More discipline than in the past. Above all, an ability to be able to evolve in all positions in the middle with the same influence and the same ease,” Schweinsteiger said.
“The fact that Pochettino offers him the keys to the game seems to give him wings. He’s not afraid to take responsibility and go where it hurts. He is at the heart of the game; between the lines, the two lanes, and attack and defense. Its role is fundamental because it is constantly in demand.”
“He is in recovery and at the same time directs the game thanks to his volume and his technical touch. He is undoubtedly one of the best midfielders in the world, even if he still lacks consistency, and he would need a European triumph to benefit from greater international recognition.”
Since Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta’s departure, PSG has long search to fill those roles to play alongside Verratti. It took some time, but it seems as though the 28-year-old has a running mate in Leandro Paredes, who has elevated his game under Pochettino.
Verratti is underrated, but it seems he’s finally receiving the recognition he deserves abroad.