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Barcelona Player to watch: Marco Verratti

Written By Arman on Rabu, 08 Mei 2013 | 06.20

While Paris Saint-Germain is home to a handful of world-class senior players, they have recruited two exciting young prospects for their team this season. These two young players have been featuring consistently in the starting line-up and thus it is a good idea to become more familiar with them ahead of FC Barcelona’s quarter-final games against PSG.

These two young players go by the name of Marco Verratti and Lucas Moura. We will go through each of them individually.

Marco Verratti

Age: 20 years old

Height: 165 cm

Weight: 60 kg

Shirt Number: 24

The Pescara-born midfielder is a technically gifted deep playmaker with tenacity. Despite being just 20 year old, Verratti has been playing professional football for close to four years now. Coming through the Pescara FC youth ranks, he was given his debut in Serie B in the 2008-2009 season. He was influential in Pescara’s promotion to Serie A and received interest from various clubs from Europe. The year 2012 is dear to Verratti as he was given his first international debut with the Italian national team against England. He was then courted to the Parisian side in July 2012 for  €12 million, a fair price for a teenager.

So far, Verratti has been a consistent performer both in the Champions League and Ligue 1, especially in the first half of the season. He is usually positioned as a central defensive midfielder in a narrow 4-2-2-2 formation and is usually paired with Blaise Matuidi. He plays the role of water carrier just in front of the back four for the Parisian side. He has been likened to Andrea Pirlo, a player who is also his personal favorite, but his runs, dribbles, and tackles actually resembles Owen Hargreaves more when he was fit.

He sometimes lacks discipline and patience and this has been pointed out by Ancelotti himself. His confidence is sky high but he can be prone to losing it due to his young age. He also commits many fouls in a game and this can be used to Barcelona’s advantage.

He is likely to be asked to mark Xavi (if Xavi plays). This along with Ancelotti’s preference for a narrow set up will mean that Barcelona’s best option when attacking is through the flanks. Either Villa, Pedro, Alexis, or Iniesta can be the option. But with Fabregas’s dip in performance he’s unlikely to start tonight.


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