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Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti insists that he has not yet done enough to warrant comparisons with Juventus veteran Andrea Pirlo as Italy prepare for the World Cup this summer.
Verratti has emerged as one of the star players for the two-time Ligue 1 champions since leaving Pescara in 2012, going on to make 56 appearances for PSG.
The 21-year-old is known for his controlling and patient style in the heart of the midfield, coupled with his passing range, leading to many comparing him to Italian great Pirlo.
However, the youngster believes he still has a lot more work to do before he can be considered to be on the same kind of level with the former AC Milan man.
Verratti said: “Until last year, we were comparing us but now we’re playing time in a different position.
“But to get to that level takes time. Compared to Pirlo, I can’t even throw a ball. I like to learn from him about what to do ahead of time.”
The Italy international has been heavily linked with a return to his homeland this summer as AC Milan and Juventus keep close tabs on his progress.
Both Verratti and Pirlo have been included in Cesare Prandelli’s provisional 30-man squad as they prepare for the group opener against England on June 14 in what could be a pivotal game in a tough-looking Group D.
The Azzurri shade favouritism for the win at 2.50, with England priced at 2.98 and the draw at 2.90, ahead of fixtures against Uruguay and Costa Rica with only the top two progressing to the knockout stages.