Verratti joins Al Arabi as “eternal PSG legend”
Marco Verratti, 30, is leaving France for Qatar Al Arabi.
“The club has signed Italian international star Marco Verratti on a three-year contract,” Qatar Stars League side Al Arabi announced on its official website and social media accounts on Thursday morning (local time). The specific transfer fee was not disclosed, but European soccer statistics outlet Transfermarkt reported that it was 45 million euros (about 64 billion won). Other options were reportedly included.
On the same day, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) also said goodbye to Verratti on its website. The club wrote: “An eternal PSG legend. After 11 years with the club, Verratti has signed for Al Arabi. He has left an indelible mark on PSG’s history. PSG thanks him for everything he has given to the club over the years and wishes him all the best for the rest of his career.”
The Pescara (Italy) native first donned the PSG shirt in the summer transfer window in July 2012. At the time, PSG paid a hefty €12 million ($17 billion) for the 19-year-old. The club was attracted by his performances at Pescara the previous season, where he had nine assists in 31 league games.
Verratti’s performance belied any acclimatization concerns. After 39 official games in his debut season, he quickly earned a spot in the team’s defensive midfield. The team also tasted its first league title in 19 years after the 1993-94 season.
Over the next 11 seasons at PSG, Verratti scored 11 goals and 61 assists in 416 official games. He won 295 titles with the club and 30 trophies. Notably, PSG won nine league titles with Verratti. Given that PSG has won 11 league titles in its history, Verratti’s arrival effectively marked the start of the club’s glory days. Verratti also helped the club win nine Super Cups, seven League Cups, and six French Cups. His biggest disappointment was his performance 메이저사이트 in the UEFA Champions League (UCL). The club reached the UCL final in the 2019-20 season, but finished as runners-up to Bayern Munich (Germany).
Verratti was initially expected to remain at PSG, but after struggling with nagging injuries following the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, his position at the club has narrowed since the arrival of Luis Enrique. Under Enrique, who has a penchant for self-regulation, Verratti was seen as a transfer target. He was not given a chance in preseason and was dropped from the roster, leading to early speculation of a move. Saudi Arabia (Al Ahli and Al Hilal) were initially mentioned as a possible destination, but according to local French media, the club reportedly struggled to negotiate a transfer fee. In the end, Verratti pivoted to Qatar in the final days of the transfer window to take on a new challenge.
Al Arabi, meanwhile, has teammates who have already been linked with Verratti. Defender Abdou Diallo recently joined the club, while attacking midfielder Hafinha joined last year.