Tuesday June 18 2013
De Rossi: 'I play better for Italy'

Daniele De Rossi is concerned by Shinji Kagawa of Japan, but explains why he plays better for the Azzurri than for Roma.

“There is nothing to clarify,” stated the midfielder when asked what his position was at Roma during today’s Press conference.

“This is not the moment to discuss it, but I made statements that I confirm. It would be a lack of respect towards my teammates the Coach if I became too distracted thinking about Roma or the future.

“The future is right now and the game against Brazil, while we hope also the semi-final and the Final too.”

Roma has become known as an extremely stressful environment to work in, which might explain why De Rossi performs better on international duty.

“I think the calm we have here in the Nazionale – even if I doubt players only do well when relaxed – is helped by teammates, the infrastructure and work over many years.

“When Cesare Prandelli arrived, the situation was not the best, as we had gone into tournaments not in the ideal circumstances. We slowly reached this calm and the right behaviour, but that’s not enough to lift trophies, even if it is a good ingredient.”

The Azzurri face Japan in the Confederations Cup on Wednesday evening at 23.00 UK time (22.00 GMT).

“I know three or four of the Japanese players. The one people talk about the most is Kagawa, so I believe him to be the star, even if they have many good players and great tactical organisation that allows them to be dangerous.”

De Rossi has struggled for form and even playing time at club level this season, so did he ever fear missing out on his Italy spot because of it?

“Let’s just say nobody is ever certain of their place in the Nazionale. There are so many talented youngsters coming out, but I believe in my potential and my ability to regenerate in these competitions. There were times when I considered this possibility, but never in a panicked way.”

The question was also turned to Coach Prandelli, who reiterated that he “never asked Daniele to be the sole constructor of moves. We just ask him the things that a midfielder like him should do, so we judge his performances differently.”

Spain beat the Italy Under-21 side 4-2 in today’s European Championship Final, so De Rossi was asked whether it was ‘disconcerting’ to see La Roja always win trophies.

“It’s not disconcerting, though we admit a little bit of envy. I never thought the Spanish era was over, not even that of Barcelona.

“Before the game I thought Italy would win, but after five minutes you could tell it was going to be extremely difficult. The Spanish keep on improving, but so do we, as Italy were in the Euro 2012 Final and this Under-21 Final.”