De Rossi: Conte changed me

Daniele De Rossi has put his late renaissance with Roma down to former Italy CT Antonio Conte. “I started working differently with him.”

De Rossi’s form during the 2014-15 campaign came in for criticism, leading to reports his top-level career was over and that a move to MLS was next.

However, the 34-year-old has since re-established himself in Roma’s XI, while helping Conte’s Italy reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

“Several moments have changed me, first of all the one with Antonio Conte,” he continued to Roma TV.

“He tells you things to the face and is attentive to preparation. I started working differently with him.

“At 34, he didn’t say that you should run less than the others. LeBron James, in another sport at the same age as me, is doing better things now than when he was younger.

“Di Francesco? The situation compared to last season has improved, even though we achieved something last year.

“This season we’re repeating the things we already did and it’s good for the new faces.

“We’ve started preseason with the bulk of the squad. For us, being here [at Trigoria] is a miracle. We don’t need to go up north.

“The physio has his equipment here, we have our rooms [to stay in]. Traveling to America is fascinating, but Trigoria has become truly beautiful.

“He’s changed the way we play, from one of possession to going forward more. At the start with Conte, I was a bit confused because we never held on to the ball.

“From there, it’s up to the quality of the player to understand when it’s necessary to go forward and when to hold on to the ball.

“Pastore? I liked him as a young lad. I’m friends with Sirigu and Verratti, and they always talked about him as someone serene, that it’s nice to share the dressing room with him.

“Still, he’ll need time to readjust to the pace of the Italian League. He’s trying to do that now.”

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