The Italy international believes the former Barcelona forward’s absence cost them in their Champions League exit at the hands of the Red Devils
Marco Verratti believes Paris Saint-Germain are on the verge of winning a Champions League trophy and insisted their failure to do so this season was partly down to Neymar’s absence.
The Ligue 1 club were eliminated from this season’s competition by Manchester United in March, marking another season where they have struggled on the European stage despite huge investment.
However, star man Neymar sat out the tie as he recovered from a foot injury and had to watch his team exit the competition from the stands.
PSG are yet to make it the last four of the competition in their history, with their last quarter-final appearance dating back to 2016.
However, despite the side’s struggles in competition, Italy international Verratti believes the club are not far away from finally conquering Europe.
“I would not change much within the team to go far in the Champions League. We are close,” said Verratti in a press conference.
“This year was another bizarre match and we made mistakes, but we do not need to change too much.
“We were missing players, notably Neymar. That is like missing half of the team, as would be the case for Barcelona with Lionel Messi, or Juventus with Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Messi has eight goals in the Champions League for Barcelona this season, while Ronaldo has netted on four occasions for Juve.
Despite PSG’s lack of Champions League trophy, Verratti insists he isn’t looking to depart the club anytime soon.
The 26-year-old originally joined back in 2012 from Pescara, and he has gone on to establish himself as one of Europe’s most accomplished central midfielders.
He has played 270 times for the Parc des Princes outfit since his arrival and has helped the side win the Ligue 1 five times in that period.
“I am really good here,” Verratti added. “It will soon be eight years. I have the same desire and I really believe in this project.
“I still have two years of my contract. After that, it is up to the club to see.”
PSG could seal the Ligue 1 title on Sunday when they take on Strasbourg depending on second-placed Lillle’s result against Reims earlier in the day.
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