Marco Verratti: 'Important but not a decider'

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder gave his thoughts on Wednesday's UEFA Champions League opener against Real Madrid at the Parc des Princes.


"It's magnificent to play Real Madrid. Everyone is happy to see a game between these two teams to start the Champions League. It's an interesting match. We're happy to play a club that has recently won three Champions Leagues. Real Madrid are legends of the competition. They always start favourites. Even if they're not playing that well in the league, they can still go all the way. We're happy to start with such a game at the Parc des Princes, in front of our fans. We hope we'll win, even if it's not a decisive match, but it is an important one for what comes after."


"We really needed a player like Idrissa. He works a lot for the team, always available, and has a strong personality. He's very quickly settled in and has shown he's intelligent, because it's not easy to perform immediately. He knows the league well. He's a very good player who's going to give us a lot. The club had wanted Idrissa for some time, and they were right because we were lacking a player with his profile. It's easy to play with Mauro. He's a striker who plays in the penalty area and can score at any time. He also plays well with his teammates. He's a great player even if he hasn't played for a long while."


"I think we're stronger. The club had a great transfer window by bringing in experienced players like Keylor Navas. We have a good squad, but that doesn't mean we're going to win the Champions League. It's great to be in this competition again. We'll take it game by game, but we're stronger than last season. The club has done some good work."