Verratti: 'I love this club'

Ahead of this weekend's Ligue 1 trip to Reims, Italy midfielder Marco Verratti spoke to PSGTV about Paris Saint-Germain's rollercoaster start to the campaign.

With 318 appearances you are into the Top 5 players with the most matches for Paris Saint-Germain. What does that represent for you?

It means a lot, to be one of the players who have worn this jersey the most is something beautiful. It means that we have spent many years together, that we have won many titles. And I'm still young in football, I'm only 27 years old. So I hope to be able to play a lot more, to win even more. I wasn't expecting that when I arrived and it's fantastic to experience that here. I want to continue for a long time. To be the most capped player in the history of this club, that would be great... I love this club. It has made me grow, it has introduced me to real football, it has offered me everything. I have been able to play great matches, to play with great players, and I am happy here.

Paris have just signed one of your compatriots in Alessandro Florenzi. What can you tell us about him?

Ale and I have known each other since we were very young, when we were 13-14 years old and we were already playing in the smallest Italian national teams together. I've known him for a long time, I know what he can do. He is good tactically, physically, he covers a lot of ground, he makes himself available for his teammates. He is intelligent, kind, generous. I think he's a very good recruit for Paris and we saw it right away. We welcomed him so that he felt at home and he felt it. We are a very good group, and Alessandro told me immediately when he arrived, he felt it.

On the pitch, Paris Saint-Germain has had a difficult start to the season, with four matches in two weeks. How was it?

It's the first time I've experienced a start to the season like this. Playing a Champions League final on the 23rd and having a match on the 29th... I don't say it as an excuse, but as an observation. In the other championships, it is clear that everyone had time to prepare for the start of the new season. It is necessary to protect the teams that can go far for the French championship, whether it is Paris or another team. We already knew, before facing Lens, that we wouldn't be able to play our best. The same for Marseille, even if we wanted to give the maximum. Without a preseason, it was very difficult. Now we're starting to get a little better, little by little we're going to get back to the football we played last season.

What sort of match are you expecting at Reims this weekend?

Reims is always a difficult match. Last season it was the best defence of our championship. They're very strong tactically, so we're expecting a difficult match. We are preparing well, because we need these three points. It's important to start playing again with our best players on the pitch. It promises to be a good match.