Former Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi has compared Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti to Pablo Picasso because of his unpredictability.
Since moving to the French capital from Pescara in 2012, Verratti has developed into a key figure at the Parc des Princes – making 157 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals.
The 23-year-old’s form has seen him linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona in recent months, with Sacchi expecting those links to continue as he improves with age.
“Verratti is a talent. I know him well because I worked with him at Italy’s youth teams. He is a player with a lot of quality, one of the most promising players around,” Sacchi told L’Equipe.
“If I had to compare him to an artist, I would go with Picasso. He is unpredictable. He might not be impressive physically, but he is very intelligent and can become even better if he remains humble. He must remain humble and keep chasing perfection.
“Verratti is still developing, but he has everything to become a champion. He is still only 23. These days, players reach their peak between the age of 28 and 30.
“Carlo Ancelotti was his coach at PSG and he was very pleased with him. He sometimes had to raise his voice to him, but he was very satisfied.
“Are PSG a different team without him? No player has even been indispensable for me, not even greats like Marco van Basten or Ruud Gullit.”
Verratti has been out of action since PSG’s 4-1 win over Reims on February 20 due to a groin injury, but could make his comeback in Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Manchester City. The Ligue 1 champions had to settle for a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the quarter-final tie.