France | “When I see that Mbappé is in Madrid… my stomach hurts!”

Marco Verratti, PSG midfielder, still remembers the Champions League elimination against Real Madrid and also awaits Kylian Mbappé’s final decision. In an interview with readers of The Parisianthe Italian international has reviewed the season of the Parisian team, in addition to recalling the episodes he has experienced with his club and the national team.

Mbappe’s future: “It will have an impact on the club whatever his decision is. He is one of the most important players on the planet at the moment, so we all want him to stay here. But when I talk to him, it is more to laugh. In football , when you have something in mind, when a decision is close, you don’t talk about it much. It’s his decision, and I’m waiting for it, like you. When I’m resting and I see the notifications that Kylian is in Madrid, it gives me a stomach ache (laughs) Although later he tells me: “Don’t worry, I was on vacation. We’re all waiting to find out.”

If he gives advice to Mbappé to follow: “No, because he knows what I think. He wouldn’t be a good adviser, at least he wouldn’t be objective. He wouldn’t think about his own good, but about the good of everyone here in Paris (laughs).”

The shipwreck against Real Madrid: “At this level, in the Champions League, they are games in which everything can happen very quickly. And Real repeated it against Chelsea and Manchester City. Madrid is a team that is used to playing these games and suffering. Here in Paris, sometimes we forget that you have to suffer to win. And that’s something we have to understand together: the players, the club and the fans. We’re on the pitch, but there’s this atmosphere around us that means we always have to win 3 , 4 or 5-0. But football is no longer like that. There are no longer small teams in the Champions League.”

If you slept after removal: “It’s hard enough to sleep when you win, but when you lose… There are people who think that you win a lot of money and that the result doesn’t matter. But that’s not true.”

How Donnarumma lived the elimination: “He suffered a lot. But for me, it was a foul (by Benzema on the first goal). We saw again against Troyes that the referee disallowed a goal (by Neymar) for a similar foul by Kylian (Mbappé) on a defender who he didn’t even fall. But we can all mess up, us and the referees. But yes, Gigio suffered, like everyone else. He won the European Championship, he was the best in the world, he makes mistakes and he’s already the worst. That’s why, for For us, the players, the most important thing, beyond qualities, is the balance that we have to find. Otherwise, you’ll be on a rollercoaster of emotions, and that’s not good. That’s why we also have to experience football as a form of entertainment, because if you don’t have fun on the pitch, you don’t give people pleasure”.

The disappointment in PSG’s game this season: “It is true that with the team we have we could have done much better, especially in terms of play. I have been here for ten years and I have often enjoyed it, but this year it has been a little more difficult. I explain it because of the many changes in the squad with at least six players who arrived. And when you change a lot, it takes time. Klopp or Guardiola, they’ve been at Liverpool and Manchester City for five years (actually seven and six years). At the beginning of this year, we were in We had a good run, we were enjoying ourselves more, and then what happened in Madrid happened. It’s as if we had taken three steps back”.

Photo de Verratti

If I could talk to the fans after what happened this season: “I have no problem with that. If it’s a discussion like today’s, calm and respectful, yes. I know that the fans spend their money on subscriptions, on trips… So they have the right to applaud, to whistle at the end of the games, but if we want to grow together, we must not throw everything away. It’s hard, but Madrid, a great team, eliminated us. Imagine if Villarreal had eliminated us like Bayern Munich, we wouldn’t even have come out! of the stadium! We have to be united to achieve our dream. I know that Paris will become the best club in the world. We just need time.”

The greatest injustice experienced by PSG in the Champions League: “There isn’t just one, right? But the comeback against Barcelona… (6-1, March 8, 2017). That night, whatever happened, we would have lost the game, 3 or 4-1, for sure “But with a different referee and the VAR, we would never have been 6-1. It is the greatest injustice we have suffered, it has been hard. A game that hurts, too, is the one played against Manchester United (the defeat 1-3 on March 6, 2019) because it happened in the year that VAR was introduced. There is always something against us. Without VAR, nobody on the pitch would have seen anything, nobody would have said anything (about the Kimpembe’s hand in the area)… Come on, let’s stop at those two injustices”.


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