Marco Verratti has spoken of his delight at being included in Cesare Prandelli's 23-man Italy squad for the World Cup and insists he can play alongside Andrea Pirlo.
Prandelli announced his final squad on Sunday night, with the 21-year-old Paris Saint-Germain midfielder making the cut. His inclusion came as a surprise to some, who feel his participation in the tournament will be limited because of his similarity to Andrea Pirlo.
However, the youngster believes he is versatile enough to play alongside the Juventus star and cement a spot in the Italy midfield.
"There isn't a midfield role I prefer, for three years now I have had several tasks and positions," he told reporters.
"I still believe that playing alongside Pirlo is possible, it is impossible for others as they aren't comfortable with a player like Andrea.
"I was called into the 30-man team and the priority for me was to give my best so as to be in the list of 23.
"I gave my best, but of course I feel sorry for those who didn’t make it. Football is all about choices, and you just have to respect them.
"I didn’t give myself any goals to reach – I just wanted to give my best every day and train as well as I could.
"I’ve always received compliments from the coach, but I always listen to what he tells me. His advice is invaluable."
The former Pescara player also touched on the injury Riccardo Montolivo picked up in Italy's friendly with Ireland, which has ruled him out of the competition.
"I can’t imagine what Riccardo is going through at the moment," Veratti added. "His injury has shaken us all up a bit, but now we have to take this opportunity that has been offered to us by the coach."