Soccer

Italy midfielder Marco Verratti joins Al-Arabi from Paris St Germain

Marco Verratti spent 11 years with PSG (Adam Davy/PA)
Marco Verratti spent 11 years with PSG (Adam Davy/PA)

Veteran Italy midfielder Marco Verratti has signed for Qatari side Al-Arabi, ending his 11-year stay at Paris St Germain.

Verratti, who turns 31 in November, signed for PSG from Serie B outfit Pescara during the summer of 2012.

The midfielder went on to win the Ligue 1 title nine times while also helping the French club reach the final of the interrupted 2019–20 Champions League, where they were beaten by Bayern Munich.

Verratti, part of Italy’s successful Euro 2020 side, had also been linked with a potential move to Saudi Arabia, with his transfer fee to Al-Arabi reported to be in the region of 45million euro (£38.6m).

“I’ve been very proud to play for Paris Saint-Germain for over a decade, to rub shoulders with so many great players and to win 30 trophies,” said Verratti, who made 416 appearances for PSG, the second-highest total in the club’s history.

“Paris, the club and its fans will always hold a very special place in my heart. I’ll forever be a Parisian.”

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi added: “Marco will be forever linked to Paris Saint-Germain, playing such a big part in our great history.

“He will always be part of the club. We wish him all the very best with his new adventure.”