Emery deflects Ventura claim that Verratti is wasted in Ligue 1

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Unai Emery scoffed at Italy coach Giampiero Ventura's claim that Marco Verratti is wasted in Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain, insisting French clubs demand respect for their Champions League exploits.

Ventura spoke about Verratti on Friday and suggested he would be better off playing in Serie A because PSG "never have any difficulty", with the 68-year-old adamant the talented midfielder is being held back.

But Emery is of no doubt that Ventura is wrong, with PSG going into Sunday's trip to Lyon third in the table, having dropped points four times this season, while both their hosts and Monaco have given a good account of themselves in Europe's elite competition so far.

Speaking in his pre-match media conference, Emery said: "I don't really know the context of the interview, but I know that Ligue 1 is better now [than it used to be].

"The league here is really strong. I prepare all the games and I can tell you that Lyon is one of the very good teams, for example.

"They have a lot of quality players. [Nabil] Fekir play with France, [Alexandre] Lacazette scores a lot of goals and they can still qualify [for the knockout phase] in the Champions League.

"Monaco will be in the last 16, they are having a wonderful season. Ligue 1 is an important league and I think people have to see that. In Europe French clubs are showing that the league is good.

"Marco Verratti had a significant injury and the doctor said that he needs time to recover and to be at 100 per cent. His game at Arsenal was very good with a lot of intensity.

"Verratti is happy in Paris, he is playing in one of the most important club in the world and he is the future of PSG."