Verratti unveiled by PSG in 2012
|Full name||Marco Verratti|
|Date of birth||5 November 1992|
|Place of birth||Pescara, Italy|
|Height||1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 September 2014.|
† Appearances (Goals).
Marco Verratti (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmarko verˈratti]; born 5 November 1992) is an Italian footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Paris Saint Germain in Ligue 1 and the Italian national football team.
A technically gifted playmaker with notable dribbling and passing skills, as well as good vision and close ball control, Verratti has been compared to Italy legend Andrea Pirlo after making the same transition from trequartista to regista that the 2006 FIFA World Cup winner made early in his career.
Verratti was born in Pescara, in Italy and grew up in L'Aquila. As a child, he supported Juventus and idolised Alessandro Del Piero, the team's Italian international playmaker. Verratti's talent was noticed at an early age, and he was made offers to join the youth academies of Atalanta and Internazionale, but joined his local club Pescara for €5,000. After an impressive performance for Pescara's under-16 team against A.C. Milan, the Lombardy club offered €300,000 to sign the midfielder.
Verratti made his first team debut in the 2008–09 season at the age of 16. In the 2009–10 season, he appeared more regularly for Pescara, and since then became a key player in the first team. His performances generated national media coverage as a potential star of the future and Italian international.
With Zdeněk Zeman as manager, Verratti excelled as a deep-lying playmaker in a Pescara team which won the 2011–12 Serie B title playing "the best football in Italy". After helping Pescara to promotion to Serie A, Verratti received the 2012 Bravo Award for the best player under the age of 21 in Europe, and was reportedly wanted by Napoli, Roma and Juventus, as well as Carlo Ancelotti's Paris Saint-Germain.
On 18 July 2012, Verratti signed a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain in the French Ligue 1. After making his debut against Lille, the midfielder assisted Javier Pastore's opening goal on his first appearance at the Parc des Princes, a 2–0 defeat of Toulouse. On 18 September, he made his UEFA Champions League debut in a 4–1 defeat of Dynamo Kyiv. He ended his first season in the French capital by winning the 2012–13 Ligue 1 title. On 20 August 2013, Verratti signed a one-year extension to his contract with PSG, keeping him at the club until 2018.
Veratti's second season with PSG was even more successful than the first as the team retained its league title and won the Coupe de la Ligue. Verratti was named as the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year and included in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year for 2013–14.
The uncapped Verratti was included into Cesare Prandelli's preliminary 32-man Italy squad for UEFA Euro 2012, being one of only two Serie B players (the other being Torino's Angelo Ogbonna) to be part of it. He was subsequently cut from the squad on 28 May 2012.
On 15 August 2012, Verratti made his debut with the Italian senior team in a friendly match against England played in Bern. He subsequently made his first competitive appearance in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, appearing as a second half substitute for Emanuele Giaccherini in a 2–2 draw against Bulgaria on 7 September.
He took part with the Italy U-21 side at the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, where the Azzurrini finished as runner-ups to Spain. His performances saw him included in UEFA's all-star squad for the tournament.
On 1 June 2014, Verratti was selected in Italy's 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In Italy's opening match of the tournament, he made his first competitive start for the Azzurri, forming a midfield trio with Andrea Pirlo and Daniele de Rossi in a 2–1 victory over England in Manaus.
|1.||6 February 2013||Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam||Netherlands||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
- Paris Saint-Germain
- Bravo Award: 2012
- UNFP Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year (1): 2013–14
- UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year (2): 2012–13, 2013-14
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