Mon, 02 Oct 2023

Marco Verratti (R) and Neymar, then teammates of PSG, look on from the bench before the friendly football match between France's PSG and Japan's Cerezo Osaka at Nagai Stadium in Osaka, Japan, July 28, 2023. /CFP

Italy midfielder Marco Verratti has left Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to join Qatari side Al Arabi, the clubs said on Wednesday.

Verratti has signed a three-year deal with the Qatar Stars League club, who have paid a reported 45 million euros ($48.31 million) for the 30-year-old, according to the Italian media.

"I was very proud to wear the colors of Paris St Germain for more than a decade, to rub shoulders with so many great players, and to win 30 trophies," Verratti told PSG's website.

"Paris, the Club and its supporters will always have a very special place in my heart. I will be Parisian forever."

Paris Saint-Germain's tweet on September 14 about Marco Verratti. /@PSG_English

Verratti, who has never played in Italy's Serie A, joined PSG in 2012 from his hometown club Pescara. The Ligue 1 side paid 12 million euros ($12.87 million) for the then 19-year-old.

In 11 seasons at PSG, Verratti played in 416 matches, making him the club's second highest appearance maker behind Jean-Marc Pilorget (435).

He helped PSG win nine league titles, a record in Ligue 1, and won both the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue six times.

Verratti has not been part of new manager Luis Enrique's plans following the recent departures of players including Lionel Messi, Neymar and Mauro Icardi.

"Marco will forever be linked to PSG," said PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

"He has always been there for the club, giving his whole heart on the pitch and achieving so many great things with us."

Verratti has won 55 international caps, scoring three goals. He was in the Italy squad who won Euro 2020, starting the final in which they beat England in a penalty shootout.

Al Arabi finished runners up to Al Duhail in last season's Qatar Stars League and have started this season with three draws. The Qatari transfer window remains open until September 18.

Source: CGTN

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