Lionel Messi calls new PSG teammate Marco Verratti ‘one of the best in the world,’ compares him to Andres Iniesta and reveals Barcelona had wanted to sign him.
The Italy international was one of the key figures in the UEFA EURO 2020 triumph this summer, despite missing the first two games through injury.
During his presentation press conference, Messi was asked whether Verratti was on the same level as Xavi Hernandez or Iniesta.
“Without a doubt,” was the response from the Argentine.
“Verratti has shown that he is a huge player, one of the best in the world in his position. He is a phenomenon.
“He was wanted in Barcelona, but now it is the reverse and it is me coming to him in Paris.”
Like another Italy international, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Messi was signed by PSG as a free agent following the end of his contract with Barcelona.
Verratti has never played in Serie A, as he was so impressive for Pescara in Serie B with Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne that he was poached by Paris Saint-Germain for €12m in 2012.
The 28-year-old has gone on to play 346 competitive games for PSG, scoring nine goals and providing 58 assists, but also receiving five red cards and 103 yellow.