Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has claimed that his new Paris Saint-Germain teammate Marco Verratti is “one of the best in the world in his position.”
The 34-year-old Argentine superstar flew to Paris with his family on Tuesday to complete his medical and finalise his PSG deal.
Messi, who will wear the No 30 shirt at PSG, inked a contract that will keep him at the Parc des Princes until 2023.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner was officially unveiled as a new PSG player on Wednesday at a press conference alongside club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
Messi was asked about Verratti after the 28-year-old Italian midfielder was linked with a move to Barcelona in 2017.
The PSG forward admitted that he was thrilled to finally have the opportunity to play alongside Verratti, saying that he is a “phenomenon.”
🗣“Marco Verratti has shown that he is a huge player, one of the best in the world in his position. He is a phenomenon.”
Lionel Messi is a huge fan of Marco Verratti 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/1Rb8pKQ9JR
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 11, 2021
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) August 11, 2021
Messi told reporters: “Marco Verratti has shown that he is a huge player, one of the best in the world in his position. He is a phenomenon.”
PSG snapped up Verratti in 2012 from Pescara, with the Italy international establishing himself as a central figure in the French club’s midfield.
Verratti’s former agent, Donato Di Campli, claimed that the PSG star “really wanted” a move to the Camp Nou.
He told French newspaperL’Equipe: “When Barca contacted me, I asked Marco what we’re doing.
“He told me to talk with them, and that we would also talk with PSG since an extension was in the pipeline. PSG was not great at the time, so I said to Marco, ‘Are we going or are we staying?’
“He said ‘OK, let’s try another experiment.’ Marco really wanted to go to Barcelona. He texted Nasser [Al-Khelaifi] to tell him, I kept it.
“They were offering a lot of money, but it wasn’t even that. Playing with Messi, becoming a champion, which is a different thing to being a great player. PSG are one of the biggest clubs in the world, but they play in a weak league.
“I told Marco that if he wanted to become a champion, he had to change tune.”
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