Herrera compares PSG team-mate Verratti to Xavi and Iniesta

By Sports Desk June 23, 2022

Ander Herrera believes fellow Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti is on the "level" of Barcelona legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

Herrera signed for PSG in 2019 after the expiry of his contract at Manchester United and established himself as a reliable figure, making 19 league appearances and six in the Champions League last season.

Amid the constant battle for places in PSG's midfield, though, Herrera believes Verratti holds an exceptional status.

When Herrera was asked which midfielder ranks as the best he has played with over the course of his career, the Italy international was the clear pick, even if it comes at the expense of his own time on the pitch.

"The best I have played with is Verratti, but I have played with very good ones," he told Diario AS. "Thiago [Alcantara], what to say about [Paul] Pogba, a footballer with the best qualities. Or [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, who came to United in the final stretch of his career, but it was incredible to see him.

"Still, I have a special devotion to Verratti. The footballer always thinks that he has to play, but if Verratti plays in your position, you have nothing to say. I put him at the level of Xavi and Iniesta."

The 32-year-old has two seasons remaining on his contract and is eager to help put the "icing on the cake" for PSG, with a Champions League triumph that has so far eluded the club.

A competitive team in domestic and continental competitions means squad rotations and battles for spots, and Herrera insists it is nothing new, welcoming the challenge.

"I like it," he said. "In Manchester, they asked me the same question when Schweinsteiger, [Nemanja] Matic, Pogba or Fred were there. Danilo, [Idrissa Gana] Gueye and Rafinha came to Paris and I've played and I've always had responsibility.

"That has made me a better footballer. I like having midfielders by my side who make me better and make the team better.

"I've been three years and I'm happy. I think it is a project that still needs the icing on the cake, as everyone knows. As demanding as I am of myself, I want to continue and enjoy a growing club surrounded by the best footballers in the universe. I like the day to day, the city and my colleagues. My family is happy and I want to continue."

Related items

  • Joe Gomez extends Liverpool contract Joe Gomez extends Liverpool contract

    Versatile Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has signed a new long-term contract at Anfield.

    The England international has been limited by injuries in recent seasons, and his contract was due to expire in 2024.

    But Gomez has committed his future to Liverpool, reportedly until 2027, and hopes "the best years are ahead of me".

    "It is an unbelievable place to be; in my eyes, probably one of the best – if not the best – clubs in the world at the minute," the 25-year-old said.

    "The opportunity to extend my stay here was an easy decision to make, really.

    "Obviously, I have been here quite a while now, but in the grand scheme of things, I still feel young, and the best years are ahead of me. I have got more to learn and the time to do that.

    "I think I have the platform here to do it, with the manager and the coaching staff around me and my team-mates, to make sure the best years are ahead."

  • Suarez rules out River move following Libertadores elimination Suarez rules out River move following Libertadores elimination

    Luis Suarez has announced he will not be joining River Plate after they were knocked out of the Copa Libertadores.

    Veteran striker Suarez, who is a free agent after leaving Atletico Madrid, had been linked with River and has now confirmed there was genuine interest.

    The former Ajax, Liverpool and Barcelona man was open to the move, too, motivated by the opportunity to fight for a Libertadores title.

    But River were eliminated from South America's elite club competition on Wednesday following a goalless draw at home to Velez Sarsfield in the last 16, losing 1-0 on aggregate.

    Suarez will not therefore be heading to the Buenos Aires giants, who are losing Julian Alvarez to Manchester City, he told Ovacion.

    "I was very excited about the possibility of going to River to fight for the Copa Libertadores," he said.

    "It was a dream that I had to win a cup in South America. As River was knocked out, that possibility falls away."

    Suarez has spent 16 years in Europe, signing for Groningen in 2006 after leaving Nacional in his native Uruguay.

    And the 35-year-old said he was disappointed not to have heard from his former club, explaining: "If I came to think and get excited about the possibility of River, the same would happen with that of Nacional, which was my home.

    "I am surprised that the leaders of Nacional did not even call me to find out my situation."

    Instead, it seems, Suarez will stay in Europe. Ovacion reported he was weighing up three offers having been tempted by River.

    "A month and a half ago, I declared that I was not going to leave Europe," he said. "But River insisted and insisted so much that I came to consider it, and there was a possibility.

    "As much as one says something, when the time comes, you will consider it. You are excited that they love you so much.

    "The player needs love. River was giving it to me, and Nacional could have tried that."

  • Women's Euros: England ask Nike to change white shorts, 'not practical' due to periods Women's Euros: England ask Nike to change white shorts, 'not practical' due to periods

    England Women have asked Nike to change their all-white kit, as the shorts are "not practical" due to periods.

    The Lionesses have worn their own strips over the past three years, having previously turned out in the same kit as the men's team.

    But England players have now raised an issue with their white shorts.

    Sarina Wiegman's side turned out in their home colours in their Women's Euro 2022 opener against Austria, a 1-0 win at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

    But winger Beth Mead, who scored the only goal, revealed the team were concerned by the possibility of red spotting showing on their shorts during their periods.

    "It's something we've fed back to Nike," she told The Telegraph. "Hopefully they're going to change that.

    "It's very nice to have an all-white kit, but sometimes it's not practical when it's the time of the month.

    "We deal with it as best we can. We've discussed it as a team, and we've fed that back to Nike."

    Mead said she was "pretty laid back" about which alternative colour Nike might opt for, while Georgia Stanway added the concerns were forgotten as soon as the players took to the pitch.

    "It's difficult, because we associate England with white," Stanway said.

    "The home kit is unbelievable, it looks really nice. I think that's something that we can speak about as a full squad, as a group of girls.

    "I think next year there is potentially a colour change going in. I think it's hard, because once you're on the grass, nothing else matters.

    "I think we have a good doctor who likes to look after us. As soon as the adrenaline comes in, you could be naked and nobody cares. That's what happens when you're on the pitch, you forget about everything."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.