• PSG defeated Man City 2-0 in UCL on Tuesday
  • Messi scored his first PSG goal in the game in Paris
  • Man City and PSG are yet to win the UCL title

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) may have top players such as Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe but it was the Italian midfielder Marco Verratti, who received admiration from Pep Guardiola Tuesday.

"I'm in love with him. He is exceptional," Manchester City boss Guardiola said after Verratti helped PSG defeat the English club in their Champions League meeting in Paris.

Verratti produced a great show as a defensive midfielder against Manchester City that allowed PSG’s midfield and attackers to be free as the French side sealed a 2-0 victory.

"Even under pressure, he manages to find those passes that allow the midfield to be free. He's not a player for long passes but you can always count on him to build the game. We managed to control him better in the second half but in the first half he was really exceptional," Guardiola was quoted by Goal, as saying in a post-match interview after his side’s loss to PSG.

While Manchester City’s star-studded attack failed to score despite having several chances to do so throughout the game at Parc des Princes, PSG cashed in on most of their chances. Idrissa Gueye opened the scoring in the first half before Messi and Mbappe combined together to produce the second goal of the match, which was the Argentinian's first for PSG.

"They can take the space. They are exceptional players, like Messi-Suarez-Neymar at Barca. Not many teams can have these players. PSG has them. We can't control them. I know two solutions: defend and pray or take the ball and create with it. It's hard to control Messi for 90 minutes. It's hard to stop him and we had to minimize the opportunities for him to touch the ball. Tonight we did what we know how to do, good or bad, but we are what we are. Tonight there was also Verratti who was extraordinary and managed to find connections with Neymar," Guardiola added further in the same interview.

Marco Verratti
Verratti has ruled out a move to Barcelona in the summer. In this picture, Paris Saint-Germain's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti looks on during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Rennes (SR) at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on January 30, 2015. FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

The 28-year-old Verratti is contracted with PSG until 2024 and has a current market value of $62 million, according to Transfermarkt.

Verratti began his competitive career with Italy-based club Pescara before PSG roped in the midfielder ahead of the 2012-13 season. Verratti, who is into his 10th season with the Ligue 1 side, has helped his side win several laurels, including seven league titles. He was also a part of the PSG side that finished as runners-up in the 2019-20 Champions League term.