Paris Saint-Germain have already wrapped up another domestic title in 2021-22, but Marco Verratti admits the Ligue 1 giants are ending every game “feeling p*ssed off” as they have nothing left to play for.
Champions League glory has proved elusive once again following a dramatic last-16 defeat to Real Madrid, while Nice sent them packing on penalties at the same stage of the Coupe de France.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are now going through the motions with two matches left this season, and Italy international midfielder Verratti concedes it is difficult to shake a sense of what could have been in the French capital.
Why are PSG feeling “p*ssed off”?
PSG threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Troyes, with Verratti telling Amazon Prime Video: “There is a bit of frustration. I think these are matches where you have to have fun, it's about winning and playing well as a team.
“We are in one of the quietest moments of the season because there is no pressure. We just have to have fun. When you are free in your head, you can enjoy it even more.
“I'm a little frustrated about that. We're coming to the end of the season and we always come out of games feeling p*ssed off. It's not the thing you dream of at the end of the season, especially when you are already champions.”
He added: “I honestly think that we could do much better with the team we have. In difficult times, we could be better. When we are good as a team, we manage to take more pleasure from those matches.
“It was a tough season. Even if we are champions, at the start of the season it was tough, we won a lot of matches late on.
“That means we have great character, because we're still there two minutes from the end to score a goal, but I think we could be better as a team.
“It's true that we changed the team a lot with several rookies. It is not an excuse, but it's the truth. It's difficult to create a big group when you change a lot. You have to take the good things of this season and try to build on it for next season.”
Do PSG have any regrets in 2021-22?
While claiming more major silverware, with the Ligue 1 crown wrestled back from Lille, PSG are desperate to savour European glory.
Verratti admits the continental defeat to Real Madrid still stings, with Kylian Mbappe having netted home and away in the two-legged tie before the Blancos hit back with a Karim Benzema hat-trick to prevail 3-2 on aggregate.
“We fought hard against Madrid and did 150 minutes very well,” Verratti said.
“We won the championship, that's good and I think there's not much missing. Everyone has to give more more so at the end we can say: 'OK, we have no regrets, we gave everything, they were stronger'.
“We do have this little regret. We had a dream in the Champions League. If you reach the semi-final then you can find yourself in the final having played two games well. Madrid hit us hard.”