Things to Know:
A quick, creative, agile, and technically gifted central midfield playmaker, with notable dribbling skills, quick reactions, and close ball control, Verratti is known for his confidence on the ball and ability to retain possession in tight spaces when under pressure, due to his low centre of gravity and resulting balance. His excellent vision and range of passing enable him to create chances for teammates with accurate long passes, or control the tempo of his team’s play in midfield through precise, short exchanges. Due to his attributes and playing style, Verratti has been compared to Italy legend Andrea Pirlo, in particular after making the same transition from trequartista to regista that the 2006 FIFA World Cup winner had also made earlier on in his career, although he has also been deployed in a new, more advanced role alongside Pirlo on occasion, as a false-attacking midfielder, in particular under Cesare Prandelli’s tenure with the Italy national team. Initially regarded as one of the most talented young players of his generation, Verratti quickly developed into one of the best playmaking midfielders in the world. In addition to his playmaking skills, he is also a hard-working, dynamic, and well-rounded midfielder, who is known for his aggression and defensive ability, in spite of his small physique and stature.