In a star studded line-up, many fail to take notice of a young small Italian in the centre of the park for Paris Saint-Germain, but Marco Verratti has proved his worth to Carlo Ancelotti's side.
The 20-year-old was a relative unknown in European football before his fellow Italian Carlo Ancelotti brought him to the Parc des Princes.
Verratti has been a prominent figure in PSG's push for the French title and their European campaign.
The first time I saw Verratti play was for Italy's Under-21's in Sligo against Ireland's Under-21's and it was clear that day that he had that something special.
His desire and attitude is exceptional and his will to win cannot be questioned. Verratti has the bite that some players lack to make it to the very top and the Italian is showing very promising signs in his first season at the top level.
Verratti comes from Pescara and this is there where he made his name in the footballing world. Marco went through the Pescara youth academy and made his debut at the age of 16 in the 2008/09 season. It was noticeable then that Verratti had great talent and he soon became a key figure in the Pescara side. It was last season when Pescara gained promotion to the Italian top flight that Verratti got the deserved media attention. He moved into a more advanced attacking midfield role and Verratti blossomed in this position.
Zdenek Zeman, who manged Pescara to their promotion, was a keen fan of Verratti and gave the midfielder licence to play. Big clubs were hovering around Verratti as he picked up the Serie B Player of the Year award for 2012.
His climb to the top didn't stop there as Ancelotti snapped the Italian up for around £10m from under the noses of Juventus. This didn't go down well in his homeland as the media felt Verratti was following money going to Paris and should of signed with Juventus.
Verratti, who doesnt turn 21 until November has nearly 100 appearances at club level already. Being touted as the "new Andrea Pirlo" didn't seem to bother him as his performances for PSG have been eye-catching.
At only 5ft 5in, Verratti has great balance and turn of pace to match his aggression. His ball retention is excellent and his use of the ball is exceptional. He plays as a deep-lying midfielder who breaks up play but also creates in the attacking sense.
Cesare Prandelli has included Verratti in his last few Italian senior teams and it has been said that the midfielder is the key figure in the transition of old to youth in the international setup. He has got three caps so far for Italy and scored a last-minute equaliser against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
Marco Verratti has it all: a very good engine, technically superb and very comfortable on the ball, it is rare to see a midfielder who can break up play and being equally adapt to provide creative passes.
In a team that is glittered with big names like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lucas Moura and now David Beckham, the young Italian has shown why he deserves his place in the team. His climb to the top has been quick and very successful.
At the time of the purchase it was thought that Verratti was one for the future. Having played 23 games for the French club this season, Verratti has shown the future has swiftly become the present.
Verratti, from the city of Pescara, can make his dreams become a reality in the big city lights of Paris.
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