Marco Verratti Bids Farewell to PSG, Joins Qatar's Al-Arabi
Italian midfielder Marco Verratti has bid farewell to Paris St Germain as he embarks on a new journey with Qatari side Al-Arabi, as confirmed by the Ligue 1 club on Wednesday.
Verratti has inked a three-year deal with the Qatar Stars League club, and according to Italian media reports, Al-Arabi has reportedly paid 45 million euros ($48.31 million) for the 30-year-old midfielder.
Reflecting on his time at Paris St Germain, Verratti expressed his pride in donning the club's colors for over a decade, playing alongside remarkable talents, and clinching 30 trophies. He stated, "Paris, the Club, and its supporters will always have a very special place in my heart. I will be Parisian forever."
Verratti's journey began when he joined PSG in 2012 from his hometown club, Pescara, for a transfer fee of 12 million euros ($12.87 million) when he was just 19 years old. Over his remarkable 11-season tenure at PSG, Verratti made 416 appearances, making him the club's second-highest appearance maker behind Jean-Marc Pilorget, who has 435 appearances to his name.
His contributions played a pivotal role in PSG's dominance, securing nine Ligue 1 titles, setting a record in the league, along with six French Cups.
However, Verratti found himself outside the plans of the new PSG manager, Luis Enrique, especially following the recent departures of key players like Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Mauro Icardi.
Paris Saint-Germain President Nasser Al-Khelaifi expressed his appreciation for Verratti's unwavering commitment to the club, stating, "Marco will forever be linked to Paris Saint-Germain. He has always been there for the Club, giving his whole heart on the pitch and achieving so many great things with us."
In addition to his club success, Verratti has also made significant contributions to the Italian national team. He boasts 55 international caps and was an integral part of the Italy squad that clinched the UEFA Euro 2020 title, notably starting in the final match where they defeated England in a thrilling penalty shootout.
As for Al-Arabi, they finished as runners-up to Al-Duhail in the previous season's Qatar Stars League and have commenced the current season with three draws. The Qatari transfer window remains open until September 18, providing opportunities for further squad enhancements.