Italy 1-2 France

Verratti happy as Pirlo's understudy

November 15, 2012
By Adam Digby, Italy Correspondent

Marco Verratti has embraced comparisons with Italy star Andrea Pirlo saying he is "proud that some people think I resemble him".

Italy international Marco Verratti is honoured to be compared to Andrea Pirlo
GettyImagesItaly international Marco Verratti is honoured to be compared to Andrea Pirlo

Verratti, 20, replaced the Juventus veteran for Wednesday's friendly defeat against France and spoke highly of him before going on to state his belief Italy deserved more from the game than the eventual 2-1 scoreline showed.

He said: "Sometimes I might do things as if I was playing at home with my friends. I'm aware of this, but it's not a bad thing.

"I like being called the understudy to Pirlo, as he is a great player and it makes me proud that some people think I resemble him. Italy have a midfield that has no reason to envy anyone else in the world. It's true I have never played alongside Andrea, so it's unlikely we'll use that system in a game.

"I think this team is capable of supporting a 4-3-3, as Stephan El Shaarawy, Antonio Candreva, Claudio Marchisio and Riccardo Montolivo have all used it before. I believe we were unlucky today, as we hit the crossbar twice and deserved more than a defeat. I was in a three-man midfield at the start of my career, so I am used to it and I'm happy we also use three in the middle at PSG."

The Paris Saint-Germain youngster was under no illusion he still has much to learn however, telling reporters how Carlo Ancelotti has spoken to him about adapting his tackling style.

"I do go into a sliding tackle when defending and from the ground I can't really help," he said. "Coach Ancelotti talks to me about it all the time too, so I am really working on this. I know it's not easy for a club like PSG with so much money to rely on a youngster like me so I have to keep working to get better."

Verratti also played down the scheduling conflict which means he will be unable to play in both the Confederations Cup and the European Under-21 Championships, saying he would be "very proud to take part in either" and "will go where I am needed the most."