Verratti apologises over drink-driving

After he was caught driving over the legal alcohol limit in Paris, Italy midfielder Marco Verratti has issued an apology.

PSG and Italy midfielder Marco Verratti.   -  AFP

Paris Saint-Germain star Marco Verratti has apologised after he was caught drink-driving in the French capital.

Italy international Verratti was stopped by police on Tuesday, with PSG confirming he will pay a fine consisting of a portion of his monthly ethics bonus.

Verratti started for PSG in Friday's Ligue 1 defeat of Lille that ensured Thomas Tuchel's side extended its perfect start to the campaign to 12 wins, setting a new record for Europe's top five leagues.

And the midfielder apologised for his actions when he spoke to the media after PSG's latest victory.

"It was a bit hard, I had two of three difficult days," Verratti said. "I made a mistake, I think that shouldn't happen but that could happen to everyone, football player or not.

"I already apologised the next morning when I arrived here, with the coach and with the club. I told my team-mates what happened to me. I apologise, I hope it will be a good experience to remember for me.

"I also apologise to the fans, I know I have a public responsibility and that's important. On the pitch, I will always be at 100 per cent. Now, I will try to give even more because I know I have something to earn forgiveness for."

READ | Europe's longest winning runs - PSG still has some way to go

PSG's run of 12 straight wins eclipses the 11 successive victories racked up by Tottenham Hotspur in 1960-61.

"We spoke about it before the game, we knew we could make history in football," Verratti added. "It's a beautiful thing because that's not easy to win 12 consecutive games in Ligue 1, especially that we are always playing against teams which give 100 per cent against us.

"They always try to be the one to beat us. I think it shows we have a lot of character, we are playing games in a serious way. This year, I think we deserved to beat that record and we will keep doing like that because it's something important that stays in history."

Although PSG is dominating domestically under Tuchel, its progress in the Champions League has been less certain and it is third in Group C at the halfway stage.

PSG travels to Napoli on Tuesday in a potentially decisive clash, while last season's beaten finalist Liverpool is not certain of qualifying for the next round despite topping the section.

"I think it's not only difficult for us. It's a very tough group, we saw Liverpool lost in Naples," Verratti added. "It's a really difficult group because we have three great teams. I think that's the first time we have to face that here in Paris.

"That's why we have to play a great game, really serious and where we will have to be well organised. It's really difficult to play against Italian teams, they are really well organised.

"We know we can do it, with the players we have, if we succeed in our structure and organisation, I think we will have the opportunity to play a good game and come back home with the three points which will be very important for us."

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