Daniele De Rossi has defended his right to be paid the highest wages in Serie A, insisting that he hasn’t ‘stolen’ the money.
The Italy international is currently earning €6.5m per season at Roma – the most in the Italian game.
But the 31-year-old has claimed that is just the market value, and does his best for the club no matter what.
“Yes, I’m the highest paid player in Serie A,” he told La Repubblica. “Yes, I earn €6.5m a season.
“And according to fans I should feel ashamed if I don’t play well – as if I might go on to the pitch and not feel up for it.
“If a singer turns up in a Jaguar it’s cool. If a player does it it’s a bad thing.
“I’ve never delayed signing a contract extension. But there is a market and there is a value to each player.
“I haven’t stolen anything.
“If Madonna earns a lot of money it’s seen as a good thing, but a footballer shouldn’t?
“I’ve always done my best for Roma. I’m proud to play here.
“Under Zeman, when I was not playing, I didn’t cause any controversy. I’m proud of that.”