De Rossi: ‘One of my happiest days’

Daniele De Rossi admits Roma beating Barcelona 3-0 to reach the Champions League semi-finals was “one of the happiest days of my career.”

The Giallorossi lost the first leg 4-1 at Camp Nou, but progressed on away goals after a magnificent performance at the Stadio Olimpico.

“It would’ve been a triumph for any team, but particularly for us, for the dimension Roma have always had in Europe, it’s truly incredible.

“Now we have to take another step, not think we’re in the semi-final and have already achieved the maximum. I don’t believe that we have,” the captain told Mediaset Premium.

“We knew it would be difficult, but we had that little bit of belief. The first leg showed us Barcelona had a lot of quality, but not as much as a few years ago. We scored two own goals, there were some dubious situations and we knew the gap wasn’t 4-1.

“It was a long way from that to winning 3-0 and not conceding at home, but all credit to the Coach, because he invented this formation two days ago, drilled it into our heads and it worked wonders.”

Remarkably, De Rossi and Kostas Manolas both scored own goals in the first leg and made up for it with goals at the Olimpico.

“I am almost 34 years old, I want to keep my balance. I realise the own goal got people talking, but I prefer to play with courage and throw myself in there with the risk of getting an unlucky own goal rather than just playing it safe. I have to fight and give my all for these players.

“This is certainly one of the happiest days of my Roma career. I was almost moved seeing the fans before the game, and I told my teammates, if they believe, we can’t not do the same. The very worst that could happen was not qualifying, the very worst, but the best…”

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