Verratti honoured by Pirlo comparisons

The 21-year-old says he is flattered by the view that he would be the perfect replacement for the Juventus veteran as he approaches the end of his Italy career

Marco Verratti says he is "proud" to be considered Andrea Pirlo's heir apparent in the Italy side.

The 21-year-old midfielder has regularly been compared to the Juventus veteran, who is approaching the end of his stellar career with the Azzurri ahead of the World Cup in Brazil this summer.

Verratti admits that he is honoured by the widely held perception that he would be the perfect replacement for 34-year-old Pirlo in Cesare Prandelli's side.

"[The comparisons] are definitely something that make me feel proud," the Azzurri starlet told Goal.

"Being compared to such a player like Pirlo, a guy who has won everything in his career, that's very important for me.

"I'm very happy to be compared to Andrea."

Verratti was heavily linked with the Bianconeri in the summer of 2012 before opting to join Paris Saint-Germain from Pescara, although rumours of a potential future switch to Juventus Stadium continue to circulate.

However, Verratti says that he sees no reason to leave PSG, claiming that he is constantly improving in the French capital because he is able to train with world-class talents such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva on a daily basis.

"They're all great players and above all great men," he enthused. "They give me a great support to become a better footballer and a better person.

"When you train along with such great players, you just need to watch them to learn something new.

"Eighteen months later [after his transfer to PSG] I can judge my experience in a more complete way. I'm very happy and proud to represent PSG because we're a great team.

"We have already won [trophies] and we'll try to do the same this year. I'm very happy to be there."

PSG, the reigning French champions, are currently eight points clear of Monaco at the top of Ligue 1, while they hold a 4-0 aggregate lead over Bayer Leverkusen ahead of the second leg of their last-16 tie at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

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