Federico Balzaretti reveals why he burst into tears when scoring in the Rome Derby. “This doesn’t happen every day.”
The left-back broke the deadlock in a 2-0 Derby della Capitale victory over Lazio and he could not hide his emotion as he ran under the Curva Sud.
“I felt such incredible joy and emotion,” he told Mediaset and Roma Channel. “This doesn’t happen every day. I tend to score once every four years, so to do it in the Derby... So much went through my head at that moment.”
It was particularly important for Balzaretti, as he was one of the most bitterly criticised in May after the Coppa Italia Final defeat to Lazio.
“Criticism is part of the sport and my strength is that I keep working the way I always have done. I know the club has faith in me and my teammates care for me.
“The problem is not what others say, but how I feel and I can assure you that when I play badly, I feel absolutely terrible. I try to take responsibility and keep working.
“Coach Rudi Garcia did very well to bring the team back together after we had so much mud thrown at us over the last few months. He worked on us psychologically and gave us back our confidence. The squad understood his style of football and the results are clear.”
Roma are top of the table with a 100 per cent record after four rounds, though Napoli could match them with a win away to Milan this evening.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.