Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti fears he could be overlooked by Italy for this summer's World Cup because he is playing in France.
The 21-year-old Italian has developed into a key man for les Parisiens since arriving at the Parc des Princes from his native Pescara in the summer of 2012, yet he is by no means guaranteed to make Cesare Prandelli's panel for Brazil.
Verratti claims that his participation in the World Cup would not be in doubt if he were still in Italy but says that he cannot understand his current situation, given he feels that PSG have proven themselves stronger than any of Serie A's finest.
"Perhaps I am being punished a bit because I ply my trade in France," Verratti was quoted as saying by L'Equipe.
"However, PSG are still in the Champions League and not all Italian teams can say the same."
Nevertheless, the young midfielder has not yet lost hope of making it to Brazil this summer.
"It would be a dream come true to play at the World Cup and I will do my utmost to make sure I make it to Brazil," he vowed.
Verratti has only made four appearances for Italy but he is set to feature in Wednesday's international friendly against Spain.