Ander Herrera believes fellow Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti is on the “level” of Barcelona legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
Herrera signed for PSG in 2019 after the expiry of his contract at Manchester United and established himself as a reliable figure, making 19 league appearances and six in the Champions League last season.
Amid the constant battle for places in PSG’s midfield, though, Herrera believes Verratti holds an exceptional status.
When Herrera was asked which midfielder ranks as the best he has played with over the course of his career, the Italy international was the clear pick, even if it comes at the expense of his own time on the pitch.
“The best I have played with is Verratti, but I have played with very good ones,” he told Diario AS. “Thiago [Alcantara], what to say about [Paul] Pogba, a footballer with the best qualities. Or [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, who came to United in the final stretch of his career, but it was incredible to see him.
“Still, I have a special devotion to Verratti. The footballer always thinks that he has to play, but if Verratti plays in your position, you have nothing to say. I put him at the level of Xavi and Iniesta.”
𝑴𝒚 𝒇𝒂𝒗𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_espanol) June 20, 2022
The 32-year-old has two seasons remaining on his contract and is eager to help put the “icing on the cake” for PSG, with a Champions League triumph that has so far eluded the club.
A competitive team in domestic and continental competitions means squad rotations and battles for spots, and Herrera insists it is nothing new, welcoming the challenge.
“I like it,” he said. “In Manchester, they asked me the same question when Schweinsteiger, [Nemanja] Matic, Pogba or Fred were there. Danilo, [Idrissa Gana] Gueye and Rafinha came to Paris and I’ve played and I’ve always had responsibility.
“That has made me a better footballer. I like having midfielders by my side who make me better and make the team better.
“I’ve been three years and I’m happy. I think it is a project that still needs the icing on the cake, as everyone knows. As demanding as I am of myself, I want to continue and enjoy a growing club surrounded by the best footballers in the universe. I like the day to day, the city and my colleagues. My family is happy and I want to continue.”