Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star Marco Verratti mentioned Real Madrid's Casemiro and Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta as two of the toughest midfielders he has faced in his career so far. The Italian is regarded as one of the best players in the world in his position and is a key player for club and country.
Speaking to Rio Ferdinand ahead of PSG's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash against Real Madrid, Verratti explained why he holds the two midfielders in such high regard.
"Casemiro is one that is difficult because he never leaves you alone and after that Modric is the toughest. No, Iniesta at Barcelona, there was a moment when every CL game was the same. We would be on the verge of winning and then Iniesta or Messi would do something and the match would be over. I think Iniesta is the most difficult."
The 29-year-old named Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski as his dream 5-a-side team.
PSG have a 1-0 lead against Real Madrid going into second leg
The Ligue 1 giants won the first leg of the Round of 16 tie at the Parc des Princes last month, with Mbappe scoring a stunning last-minute winner in injury time. Real Madrid are the most decorated team in the competition and have a storied history of producing several comebacks, so PSG will have to be on their toes to see off the tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Verratti is likely to play a key role for Mauricio Pochettino's side as he prepares to come up against an experienced Real Madrid side under the tutelage of three-time UEFA Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti.