Daniele De Rossi likened Andrea Pirlo’s chipped penalty to Francesco Totti’s in the Euro 2000 shoot-out.
“It’s one of those nights that remain with you forever. It reminds me of Francesco Totti against Holland 12 years ago when Pirlo scored that crazy penalty,” he said of the 4-2 shoot-out win over England.
De Rossi had a great opportunity to open the scoring in the first few minutes, but his 30-metre screamer came off the woodwork.
“When I hit the post I thought a few things, so that went badly, but I wouldn’t change anything about this night.
“I still have to discover if I’m right or left-footed. I risked sending that shot into the stands, but it went fairly well – apart from the upright.”
However, the Roma midfielder limped off in the second half.
“I was disappointed at the injury and hope to recover for the semi-final. I had a sciatica problem for the past few days, but ice and painkillers don’t do much. When it’s the sciatic nerve, you can’t run or change pace.
“I certainly don’t have a thigh strain or anything, it’s just that I cannot be optimistic right now because when Diamanti scored I could barely get there to hug him. When you have players like this on the bench, Nocerino and Thiago Motta, it’s a crime to want to play at all costs.
“I really like Diamanti, someone who played in the lower leagues and took a long time to reach the big stage, seeing him score the decisive penalties in the European quarter-finals was impressive.
“We did expect this sort of performance, as England have good players, but they do set out in a very defensive way.
“With the second chance I was sure that I wasn’t offside, but I thought the goalkeeper was closer to me than he actually was, so I rushed the finish and didn’t take time to control the ball first.”
De Rossi was seen celebrating with daughter Gaia after the shoot-out was finished.
“My daughter said until a couple of days ago that she wanted us to lose so I’d come home! I hadn’t seen her for almost a month, but she had fun out here with the shirt, the face paint and the atmosphere.”
Tickets for the Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid are still on sale with reseller Viagogo - Click to find out more