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PSG: Alumni, tears, Auteuil… The moving farewell to Marco Verratti (video)

Time for goodbyes.

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PSG: Alumni, tears, Auteuil… The moving farewell to Marco Verratti (video)

Time for goodbyes. Smiles and tears. Three quarters of an hour before the PSG-Nice match kicked off this Friday evening, Marco Verratti entered the pitch at the Parc des Princes. Dressed all in black but his eyes quickly red with emotion, the 30-year-old Italian international (55 caps, 3 goals) was accompanied by one of his sons. Her partner Jessica Aïdi had the second with her. Guard of honor made up of his now ex-teammates and the staff to direct him towards Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and the stadium announcer, Michel Montana. All under the cheers of a Parc des Princes which gave voice for the “Marco Verratti Monument”, as we could read on a banner displayed on the Auteuil side.

“A decade of magic, 30 trophies with Paris,” we could see on another. Forgotten the whistles and insults from some towards the little Owl last spring, when the club was going through a new crisis. “This is the opportunity to say goodbye to him. I am sure that it will be a special moment, including for him and his family,” Luis Enrique guessed Thursday at a press conference.

Which Luis Enrique did not count on Verratti more than the leaders. Hence this transfer for 45 million euros to the Qatari club Al-Arabi, where the one who arrived in Paris at 19 will find two former Parisians, Abdou Diallo and Julian Draxler. Still, PSG had prepared a series of messages from former glories from the start of the QSI era, men who saw Verratti arrive in 2012, Blaise Matuidi, Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi and even Javier Pastor. But also Thiago Motta, whose departure in 2016 undoubtedly hurt Verratti very badly. “You made history, you will remain engraved in the hearts of Parisians,” summarizes Matuidi.

Messages full of emotion which made the Park roar, as these players have marked the history of the club and its supporters. Nasser Al-Khelaïfi delivered an honorary trophy to Verratti, who was again given a standing ovation by the stadium before beginning a lap of honour. He obviously spent many minutes in front of the Auteuil stand, even speaking directly to the Collectif Ultras Paris and waving one of its standards. Smiles, applause, thanks, tears… Verratti, scarf around his neck, went through all the emotions. The new Al-Arabi player spent a few more moments with the young people of the Junior Club, clapping hands, posing for a souvenir photo and signing a jersey.

He was finally looked after by Ambre Godillon for PSG TV, the latter thanking him warmly for his years in Paris. “It’s all of you we have to thank, I’ve had some wonderful years. A big thank you that comes from the heart,” he said, tremors in his voice. The only words he spoke in front of the entire audience. Verratti is 416 matches in Paris, 30 trophies. A piece of history is passing away to better open the new era desired by the management of PSG.

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