De Rossi: ‘Roma can do it again’

Captain Daniele De Rossi sees no reason Roma can’t repeat last season’s Champions League heroics – “last year, in theory, the group was even tougher…”

The Giallorossi reached the semi-finals of the competition last year, before being beaten 7-6 on aggregate in a thrilling tie against Liverpool.

Today the midfielder sat alongside Coach Eusebio Di Francesco at the Press conference ahead of the Real Madrid match, and was asked if those feats could be repeated.

“Why not?” De Rossi asked.

“Last year, in theory, the group was even tougher. Of course we’ll need great commitment and consistency to repeat it, and obviously the enthusiasm that comes with winning.

“The start to the season? We’re the first to demand more of ourselves, but we’re at the start of a new season and the Roma you saw against Barcelona is the same as now.

“We were criticised for setbacks last season but it ended satisfactorily, although without trophies.

“Maybe tomorrow we can go out and get a positive result that will give us our confidence back and allow us to return to being strong.

“The criticism is normal when you don’t win, in Rome they want everything right away.

“Di Francesco, in his first year in top football, took us to the Champions League semi-final and he has a precise philosophy which brought us those results.

“Right now he’s not happy, none of us are, but questioning the Coach goes no further than other arguments of similar value.

“Even [Inter’s Luciano] Spalletti is being questioned now, but that’s normal.”

The veteran was then asked about the feeling of playing at the Bernabeu.

“It’s different from other stadiums, there are special emotions here. It could be the last time I play here, so it’ll be emotional but there’s a big game to play.

“We need to get a result, and if we succeed it would be an honour.”

The Giallorossi captain defied the new Serie A rule on personalised armbands, but while Fiorentina have been granted an exemption, he has not.

“What bothers me is that only I and the Fiorentina players are left, I have different reasons to keep my own armband,” De Rossi explained.

“There was no need to have this rule, football has other, more important problems. I’ve heard from many people who think this rule is wrong, I’ve heard from Costacurta and Tommasi who agree with me and will try to change this rule.

“I must respect my colleagues from Fiorentina who have a different motivation to me, and I’ll comply with what the Lega says.

“But I do it solely out of respect for Fiorentina, who suffered something terrible and remember Davide [Astori] in this way.”

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