Italian international Marco Verratti has signed with Qatari club Al-Arabi SC after eleven years at Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG), the French club announced on Wednesday September 13. The 30-year-old midfielder, a favorite of many supporters for many years, was no longer part of the club's plans, which changed strategy this summer with the arrival of coach Luis Enrique.
Marco Verratti “played a major role in our great history,” said club president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, quoted in the PSG press release. “Paris, the club and its supporters will always have a very special place in my heart. I will be Parisian forever,” said Marco Verratti.
The departure of the “Little Hibou” illustrates the new policy of the Parisian leaders, eager to make a clean sweep of the past after experiencing one of the club's most disappointing seasons in 2022-2023 since its takeover in 2011 by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), with a succession of crises and a very average sporting record, barely saved by obtaining an eleventh French champion title. In a press release, his new club specifies that he has signed up for three years.
Thirty titles including 9 French championships
After Lionel Messi, who left for Inter Miami (United States), and Neymar, transferred to Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia), PSG has indeed opted for a change of era by also letting Marco Verratti, the one of the pillars of the Parisian project, a favorite of President Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and regulars at the Parc des Princes.
Despite thirty trophies gleaned and nine league titles won with PSG, a Euro won in 2021 with Italy and above-average technical skills recognized by all, the midfielder nevertheless saw his long stint in Paris marred by a cascade of injuries which have too often deprived him of major meetings, such as the final of the Champions League in 2020 against Bayern Munich, in Lisbon, where he will only enter during the game.
His eleven seasons in the capital and in Ligue 1 were also marked by his indiscipline and numerous warnings collected (141 yellow cards and 6 red).