Marco Verratti: 'A time to spend with family'

During the festive period, Marco Verratti tells us how he spends his Christmas holidays in Italy. From childhood memories to wishes for the future, the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder opens up.

You have two children. Is Christmas a special time for the family? 

"Yes, I remember when I was a kid and I know that these are great memories for the children. It's the nicest time of year. The lead-up to Christmas is still different from other periods. You celebrate with your family, which is something magnificent. We always head back to Italy so that my parents can spend some time with the boys. I help them to write the wish list they send to Santa. It's a time to spend with family."

In Italy, there are very strong traditions. When you were little did you always eat the same meal for? 

"Yes, it's always the same thing. I don't think it has ever changed. On the evening of the 24th, it's fish and on the 25th it's lasagna. Christmas lunch goes for about five or six hours, it's never-ending [laughs]. You don't feel like eating anything else for the next three days. But, as I said, you spend time with family, you play cards. It's really nice."

Can you remember a Christmas present that made a real impression on you?

"Yes, for Christmas we choose the presents that we put on the list we send to Santa. They were always awesome. I once got a little electric car. I was always playing with it."