Marco Verratti joined Paris Saint-Germain from Pescara in 2012 as a relatively unknown entity. Eleven years later, the Italy international leaves a club legend, but there are questions about whether he accomplished everything he could and why he’s leaving European football at a relatively young age.
Earlier this month, Verratti agreed to a transfer from PSG to Al-Arabi SC of the Qatar Stars League. The figure, a reported €45 million, is a fair figure for a 30-year-old midfielder and what you hope to win while online sports betting. However, Verratti is still considered an elite midfielder, and many PSG supporters thought he would be integral to new manager Luis Enrique’s system.
Verratti is second in most appearances by a PSG player with 416. Unfortunately, he won’t get that record, but he leaves PSG with an impressive haul of trophies. Verratti won nine Ligue 1 titles, six Coupe de France titles, and six Coupe de la Ligue trophies. The one trophy that eluded him and PSG, of course, in the UEFA Champions League.
The club came closest to winning the Champions League in 2020 when they reached the final, but ultimately fell to FC Bayern Munich 1-0. There’s also been a lot of heartbreak for Verratti in that tournament. The 6-1 defeat to FC Barcelona in 2017, and the comeback from Manchester United in 2019 (not to mention failing to lead Italy to qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in 2022). These are devastating losses, and you have to wonder if they played a role in Verratti leaving European football at this stage of his career.
From PSG’s perspective, I can see why they decided to part ways with Verratti. In many ways, new signing Manuel Ugarte does everything Verratti can and is younger, cheaper, and comes without the baggage of the past. There’s also something to be said about bringing in a new era. This past summer transfer window, PSG signed 11 new players, and leaving the club were superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. Verratti isn’t a global superstar like those two players, but he represented an era that PSG was desperately trying to move on from.
At 30 years old, Verratti could return to European football, but it looks unlikely at this stage. What is undoubtedly true is that Verratti leaves PSG a club legend. He may not have achieved his goals, but he battled for the badge and gave his all. You can’t question his commitment to Paris Saint-Germain, and he will be welcomed back to the club in any capacity in the future.