What Andres Iniesta said to Blaise Matuidi about Marco Verratti

Paris Saint-Germain v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

With Andres Iniesta turning 33 before the end of the season, Barcelona are understandably getting increasingly anxious about trying to replace him.

Club legend Xavi departed the club in the summer of 2015, so Barca are soon to be without the two Spanish midfielders that have been so instrumental to their success in recent years.

The Catalan club attempted to replace Xavi with the likes of Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez but the pair of 23-year-olds simply aren’t ready to fill the massive void left behind by one of the greatest midfielders football has ever seen.

But who will the club sign to replace the ageing Iniesta?

Barcelona scouts must be traveling up and down Europe to try and find a midfielder good enough to be the heir to Iniesta’s throne.

It seems an impossible task but there must someone out there that has the ability to soften the blow of Iniesta leaving - when he eventually does.

But maybe Barcelona have already found the perfect replacement.

Last week, Iniesta and his Barcelona team-mates were embarrassed by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16 clash.

Paris Saint-Germain v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

The French side ran out 4-0 winners at the Parc des Princes which left Luis Enrique’s side staring at elimination from the competition.

Arguably the best player on the pitch was Iniesta’s opposite number - Marco Verratti. The 24-year-old Italian pulled the strings throughout the 90 minutes leaving Iniesta chasing shadows during the 4-0 demolition.

And, thanks to PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi, we now know exactly what Iniesta thinks of Verratti.

What Iniesta said about Verratti

While Verratti was down injured, Matuidi was talking to Iniesta and has revealed what the Barca legend told him.

"A sentence I remember in the game? One can remember a phrase I said to Iniesta,” he said in an interview with France Bleu.

"When Verratti was on the ground, I told him that he was his replacement. He (Iniesta) said, "Yes, that's what I think.

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"Iniesta is an extraordinary player, he arrives at a certain age, but he does very great things. He was just wounded and I know that on his return he will be in full possession of his means. And we're lucky to have his successor with Marco.

"That's what I said to him as a message.”

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Iniesta vs Verratti Part II

Iniesta will be hoping to stamp his authority on Verratti when the second leg at the Camp Nou comes around in a little more than two weeks time.

Barca know they will need a minor miracle if they are to progress to the last-eight and will be calling on Iniesta to win the midfield battle against a player eight years his junior.

However, you couldn’t blame PSG for maybe fearing another Verratti masterclass.

If their midfielder dominates the match at the Camp Nou, Barcelona will have very little alternative but to enquire about his availability this summer.

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