Xavi: 'Verratti is one of world's best'
World Cup winner and double UEFA EURO champion Xavi Hernandez has heaped praise on Paris Saint-Germain's Marco Verratti, stating: "There are very few midfielders better than Verratti."
Picked up from Italian club Pescara, Verratti's arrival at the Parc des Princes in summer 2012 was rather overshadowed by the announcement on the same day of the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Since, however, the diminutive midfielder has proven just as influential as the giant Swede in helping PSG register a hat-trick of Ligue 1 title triumphs.
Xavi, who last summer left Barcelona having won the UEFA Champions League for a fourth time to join Qatari side Al Sadd, is a confirmed Verratti devotee.
"Verratti is a footballer at an extraordinary level," said the former Spain international. "His level is comparable to that of the Barcelona midfielders. He's playing at a very high level with PSG. He has had two fantastic seasons. There are very few midfielders better than Verratti.
"He's one of the best midfielders in the world, and plays a little bit in the same way as I tried to do with Barcelona and the national team. He likes having the ball. He also has perfect mastery over long and short passing, he can play the final ball, and he doesn't lose the ball that easily. He's really a very high-class player."