Daniele De Rossi has revealed his growing desire to play every game possible for Roma and of the ambition to perhaps stay in the game after retirement.
Roma’s Capitan Futuro discussed a whole host of subjects in a lengthy interview in Friday’s edition of the Corriere della Sera, beginning with a simple question about a current injury to his heel, and if it rules him out of the weekend trip to Milan.
“It’s more a nuisance than anything else,” De Rossi reflected. “It’s a pain, it’s not an injury. I complain, yet I do everything possible to play even when not at my best.
“I’m a pessimist - until Thursday if I am asked, I am out injured. On Friday maybe I can make the bench. Come Saturday, I will play. I never agree to stay out of the pitch.
“I would play all the games and for 90 minutes if I could. When I’m out injured it is a torment. I count the days when on holiday. I have heard many players say I should stop soon and enjoy the money.
“At first I thought so too. Then I saw that they changed their minds and slowly I am as well. I know one who has said and done this - Hide Nakata. Another class, another head.”
De Rossi was asked if he would consider a route into management once he retires.
“I do not know. Once, I said never. The Coach, when he loses, is the loneliest man in the world. But, it’s a way to stay in this environment - when you are not in it, you miss it to death.”
At the age of 22, De Rossi was a part of the Italy team that won the 2006 World Cup.
“Winning a World Cup is memorable, but I was not born a fan of Italy. I was born a fan of Roma. As I child I dreamed of winning the title. In my dream it seemed possible. Then it is over and I’ve won the World Cup but I’m still waiting for the League.
“I like [Luis Enrique]’s idea of football. [Pep] Guardiola talked about it, when he was at Roma, and now I can try to play it even if the comparison with Barcelona will kill you, because they are too strong. However, if you don’t try, you will never fail.”
De Rossi fell foul of Enrique’s management when he was left in the stands for the side’s Week 25 trip to Atalanta, after missing a team meeting by a couple of minutes.
“There is a rule and it must be respected. A harsh rule? It can also be, but this does not change the reality.
“I knew of it and in Bergamo against Atalanta I was also the captain, seeing as [Francesco] Totti was absent.”
Roma have recently signed a deal in America to train at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida for the team’s winter breaks from 2012-13 onwards. Asked which Disney character De Rossi would be, he showed his sense of humour.
“Scrooge McDuck. It has to be, what with the contract the club have just given me…”