Daniele De Rossi doesn’t quite see himself as ‘Italy’s toughest midfielder’, choosing instead to describe his style as ‘physical’ and ‘fair’.
Currently in Brazil with the Italy squad as their preparations for facing Costa Rica in the second round of Group D fixtures continue, the midfielder has considered whether it is fair to label him as ‘the toughest player in Italian football’.
It was an assertion put forward by FIFA’s official website and not one the 30-year-old exactly goes along with.
“Well, I don’t exactly agree,” De Rossi has responded in an interview released today.
“I guess it depends what you mean by ‘tough’. On the pitch, my position and my role require a physical side, constant contact with my opponent.
“If that's what you mean by tough, it’s correct. But ... if you look at my club career, for example, I have only ever received one red card – and that was eight years ago.
“I play fair, even though sometimes the tackles are tough.”
De Rossi also considered Italy’s World Cup preparations and their recent tactical focus that has led to the ‘Tikitalia’ nickname.