Marco Verratti was a joy to watch as per usual in Paris Saint-Germain‘s 1-0 victory over Real Madrid at the Parc des Princes.
The Italian midfielder was so irresistibly good in his latest appearance in the French capital that he left teammate Neymar in awe.
The 30-year-old had the pleasure of linking up with Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta during his time at Barcelona but he puts Verratti in the same league.
“I knew Verratti was an excellent player, but I didn’t realise he was so spectacular,” Neymar said.
“A genius. He’s one of the best midfielders I’ve played with, along with Xavi Hernández and Iniesta.”
🗣️ Neymar: “I knew Verratti was an excellent player, but I didn’t realise he was so spectacular. A genius. He’s one of the best midfielders I’ve played with, along with Xavi Hernández and Iniesta.”#UCL pic.twitter.com/6M8Zcrd4n5
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 15, 2022
Marco Verratti vs Real Madrid
⏱ 90 minutes
👟 123 ballons touchés
🧹 92,2% de passes précises
🔑 6 passes clés
🌬 3/3 dribbles réussis
🏔 8/13 duels au sol remportés
🪚 2 tacles
🧲 9 ballons récupérésAdvertisement
En chaussons. Merci. pic.twitter.com/VuF2q4mTT2
— Luca (@LucaDmng) February 15, 2022
Last night, Verratti served up the kind of performance that justified why Neymar rates him. Against Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, it was the former Pescara man who ran the game.
Marco Verratti ran the middle of the park against a side with Kroos, Modric and Casemiro 😮
Baller 🔥 pic.twitter.com/UdK0R99P3U
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 15, 2022
He was so calm and composed whenever he had the ball, turning and shimmying with so much ease that it became pointless trying to press him.
The midfield metronome played a slew of lovely passes through the lines for the likes of Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria, but also fulfilled his defensive duties and wasn’t afraid to make crucial tackles and interceptions.
Marco Verratti’s impressive tally of 12 shot-creating actions against Real Madrid last night was double his previous highest this season for PSG, against Angers in Ligue 1. (FBRef)
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) February 16, 2022
As far as displays from deep lying midfielders, this was right up there and Verratti’s highlights from the win are wonderful.
Marco Verratti vs Real Madrid pic.twitter.com/aWI4pIkZdj
— PSG Comps (@CompsPSG) February 16, 2022
Kylian Mbappe was the match-winner against the side he’s expected to join, notching a sensational solo goal in the 94th minute to ensure PSG take a lead to the Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg.
But Verratti’s brilliance should not be slept on. The Euro 2020 winner may just be the best in the world in his position and he recently explained his role superbly.
“I’ll never be a player who scores 20 a season or will make 10 assists,” he told L’Equipe.
“In my eyes, the main thing is to ensure my teammates are at ease, in a good position to create chances. So when I play a pass in between the lines for Messi or Neymar, it can create danger. That’s my role – to control the game, to know when to accelerate and slow it down.”
Featured Image Credit: Image: BT Sport