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Marco Verratti Set The Platform For A Truly Memorable Champions League Performance

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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Nobody would have expected what we saw in Tuesday night's Champions League 'glamour tie' between PSG and Barcelona.

While the idea of Barca not getting past the first knockout round was far from an impossibility, thanks largely to their's league form which has not quite been up their own high standards in recent weeks, nobody expected the French side, who themselves are in second place in Ligue 1, to completely outclass their opponents.

And yet, they did. The 4-0 scoreline was flattering, but for Barcelona. PSG could have hit double figures as they bombed forward in a style similar to what we are used to seeing from their opponents on the night.

While Angel Di Maria, Julian Draxler, and Edinson Cavani will grab the headlines for getting the goals, and also all having terrific games it must be said, they were given that platform to perform by the one-man engine room that is Marco Verratti.

Many of those watching were blown away by the way in which he ran the show.


His quality has been known for some time now, as can be seen by thinking back to the delighted Irish fan reaction to the news that he would miss Euro 2016 (it's a bloody good thing he didn't play in Lille), but tonight was the kind of performance that will make see him talked about as one of the top players in his position.

We can now look forward to a summer full of talk linking him with a move away from PSG, with Juventus and Manchester United sure to be the most regularly suggested, but it's going to take a hell of a lot more than the £10m that the Parisiens paid for him to pry him away.

Against Barcelona he was excellent. His ability to shut down an attack and then instantly start one of his own is remarkable, and was best seen by his involvement in PSG's second goal, scored by Julian Draxler.

And the crazy thing is, he didn't even seem to be trying his hardest. There were many occasions where Verratti could be seen strolling around the pitch, but he didn't need to put in the type of all-action midfield performance you would assume a player needs to put in to catch Andres Iniesta on the hop. Barca were really poor, and Verratti was extremely comfortable as he shifted the game away from them.

To put in that type of performance and still have much more in the locker... That's scary. It will remain to be seen what PSG go on and do in this compeition, or whether or not this is the game we will look back on as Verratti's arrival in the discussion of the best players in Europe, but he's incredibly enjoyable to watch when he's on his game.

PSG were electrifying, and Marco in the middle was the conductor of everything they did well.

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