If anyone asks you, ‘What would you like to be — a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?’ What will your answer be?
It’s hard to choose depending on how you wish to live your life. However, we can sense that a similar choice might have occurred before Paris Saint Germain’s midfield maestro, Marco Verratti, who made the move to Paris back in 2012 from Pescara Calico, a former Ligue 1 club.
Verratti moved to Paris in the least competitive league among the top five leagues in Europe when Real Madrid, Barcelona, or the other Premier League teams were knocking on the door for the Italian’s signature.
The 30-year-old has enjoyed ten seasons at the Parisian club and has eight Ligue 1 titles to show his worth. The Italian is touted as an all-round midfielder whose composure on the ball and the ability to play the final pass is only surpassed by the legendary duo of Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
Even Lionel Messi hails Verratti as the best in the world at his position. But despite lifting every domestic trophy in France and the Euro Cup last year with Italy, Verratti’s expedition has fallen short in UEFA Champions League (UCL).
He might be one of the greatest midfielders of his generation to not win the UCL trophy despite coming so close to it in 2020 against Bayern Munich.
Sure the argument exists that winning the UCL is not a certified hallmark of greatness but given the history of the game and big clubs that have dominated this European club competition, one is forced to think that Verratti might have become one of the Galacticos for Los Blancos or Barcelona.
PSG does not have a legacy or rich history like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, or Liverpool to boast. The Parisian club has only revived itself in the past 15 years to attract world-class talent and Verratti was one of the earliest signings of a new era at the club.
The club had been extremely patient with the Italian despite his long string of injuries. Verratti has breezed in and out of the team under various managers over the years and the player has responded to the club’s affection with his unwavering loyalty, warding off big clubs who were before him.
Verratti, like Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero, and Francesco Totti, has become a club legend for what it seems. He’s been comfortable with his position at PSG and hasn’t given into the notion of becoming ‘great’ only if you play for the big guys in La Liga or the Premier League.
Was Totti's career 'wasted' at Roma? Was Kompany or Aguero or David Silva's career wasted at City? Because he chose to become a club legend instead of moving to chase trophies too. Not every top player has to play in the prem.— zzzzsnurle (@zzzzsnurle) December 8, 2022
Is Verratti one UCL trophy away to become one of the greats? Sure!
Can he do it at PSG? Absolutely!
No one doubts Verratti’s ability as a playmaker, but many wanted him to look for fiercer challenges than Ligue 1.
The Italian midfielder is already considered to be one of the greats by his peers and is often compared to legends like Andrea Pirlo and Iniesta because of his playing style. You may call Ligue 1 the Farmers League, but Verratti has extended his contract with PSG until 2026.
He has decided to remain a big fish in a small pond with the occasional visit to the ocean of UCL, and if he’s lucky, he might just conquer it.