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“I will be Parisian forever”: after 11 years at PSG, Marco Verratti joins the Qatari club Al-Arabi

Marco Verratti and PSG, it's over.

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“I will be Parisian forever”: after 11 years at PSG, Marco Verratti joins the Qatari club Al-Arabi

Marco Verratti and PSG, it's over. Arriving on the banks of the Seine in 2012 from his hometown club, Pescara, then in Serie B, the Italian international midfielder (55 caps, 3 goals) signed for Al-Arabi, in Qatar . Extended until 2026 last winter, Verratti no longer entered into the plans of a Paris Saint-Germain which wants to be younger, more serious, more focused on the collective than in recent years. Like Neymar and others, he was told that the club was no longer counting on him during the summer transfer window and Luis Enrique, who did not wish to use him, did not call him up once. since the start of the season.

PSG, however, wanted to pay tribute to “one of the most emblematic players in (its) history”, a “monument”. “Thank you Marco. Thanks to this little 19-year-old Italian, taken from his native land to put down roots in our capital, and to reward us with his passion. Thank you for experiencing the ups and downs with us. For the emotions. And you know what, thank you also for the yellow cards, because they were part of you. You will remain an enfant terrible who came to Paris, to become a legend,” we can read in a long message on the club’s website.

Verratti, 30, is the second most capped player in the history of PSG (416 matches), the most successful (30 trophies). We will remember his ability to bring out the balls brilliantly in the smallest spaces, his genius, his recoveries, but also his injuries, his cards and his participation in the most notable failures on the European scene. However, we have often seen him shine in C1, against Barça, Liverpool, Manchester City... “He is an exceptional, extraordinary player. I’m in love,” Pep Guardiola, for example, gushed in 2021. The story is mixed. It ends with a surprising departure towards a low-quality championship, while his name has more or less been mentioned at Atlético, Bayern or Chelsea as far as Europe is concerned, but also in Saudi Arabia. A priori, Paris-SG must pocket €50 million including bonus for this transfer which will not do any harm with a view to financial fair play.

Pushed towards the exit, the nine-time French champion (record in L1) with PSG and European champion in 2021 with Italy is, a priori, not bitter. At least not in the statement sent by the club. “I was very proud to wear the colors of Paris Saint-Germain for more than a decade, to rub shoulders with so many great players, and to win 30 trophies. Paris, the Club and its supporters will always have a very special place in my heart. I will be Parisian forever,” exclaims the former Padawan of Thiago Motta, often criticized for his haphazard lifestyle. Including by some of his former coaches, like Laurent Blanc a few months ago...

Remember that it was Carlo Ancelotti who launched Marco Verratti, the latter quickly establishing himself in the starting 11 alongside Motta and Blaise Matuidi. A trio that is still a reference today. “Marco will remain forever linked to Paris Saint-Germain. He played a major role in our great history, declares President Nasser Al-Khelaïfi. I will never forget his arrival in 2012 at the age of 19. Since then, he has always been there for the Club, giving his whole heart on the pitch and achieving so many great things with us. I would like to sincerely thank Marco and his family on behalf of everyone connected to Paris Saint-Germain. He will always be part of the Club. We wish him the best in this new adventure” in Qatar.

A page turns with the departure of Verratti, after those of Leo Messi, Neymar and other Sergio Ramos last summer. The new era of the Parisian club. The Parc des Princes public will no doubt very quickly have the opportunity to pay tribute to the little Owl. Perhaps this Friday at the Nice reception, opening the fifth day of Ligue 1. All this is still under discussion.

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