Daniele De Rossi admits he deserved to be left out of Italy’s friendly with Spain earlier this year due to Cesare Prandelli’s code of ethics.
The Roma midfielder was handed a three-match Serie A ban for ‘punching’ Inter’s Mauro Icardi during the match between the teams in early March, then further punished when Prandelli dropped him for the Azzurri’s meeting with the world champions.
Speaking at a Press conference this afternoon, the 30-year-old admitted he had fallen foul of the national team boss’ guidelines on player conduct and that he merited the treatment he received.
However, he also believes that it would have been wrong to leave Giorgio Chiellini out of Azzurri World Cup contention despite his apparent elbow on Roma’s Miralem Pjanic while playing for Juventus three weeks ago.
The Old Lady defender, as with De Rossi, was handed a three-match ban for his actions but received no retribution from Prandelli.
“It would have been absurd to miss out on a World Cup for that incident," De Rossi insisted. "You can exploit it [the code], because it isn’t very clear when you judge one violent act against another one.
“When I was punished I think it was the correct decision in terms of the code of ethics. But a player can’t miss out on the World Cup because of what Chiellini did. I’m happy he’s here.”
De Rossi then commented on the presence of Antonio Cassano in the Azzurri squad.
“He brings quality and puts both his talent and personality at the service of the team. He’s just turned 32, so he needs to give something more at all costs.
“The fact he was out for some time has not shown at all.”
The midfielder was also asked about Marco Verratti and Matteo Darmian, two players who impressed in Italy’s friendly with Ireland last night.
“They had good games and that is obvious. Verratti, as with Cassano, has always shown personality. He is more or less a kid but he is already a player.
“The fact he has played in the Champions League for three years is an advantage for him and for us.
“Darmian, a bit like De Sciglio, gave the impression that he would be immediately ready to play for the national team."
Finally, De Rossi briefly commented on Alberto Aquilani.
“He is a quality player, like Montolivo. He’s a good footballer and has vision of the game. He deserves to be at the World Cup, just as everyone else does.”