Daniele De Rossi admits Italy “miss” Andrea Pirlo as he dared Thiago Motta’s No 10 critics “to dribble with him and see his excellent technique”.
De Rossi was speaking at a Press conference ahead of Euro 2016 Press conference, where he also clarified his fitness for the tournament, and he paid tribute to his fellow 2006 World Cup winner, plus backed Motta to befit the fabled shirt number.
“I’ve always given great importance to the national team,” the midfielder continued.
“I’ve always felt strongly about my belonging to Italy. It’s easier to regain pride in football, while it’s maybe not so much in everyday life.
“The No 10 jersey? Numbers are important when you’re younger. In the past, I wore it myself.
“I don’t think Thiago chose the number, neither do I think he cares much about wearing it.
“Whoever’s made fun of Motta should dribble with him to see how he handles the ball.
“He’s a player who has won everything at club level, and we hope he can also win things with the national team.
“He has different characteristics to [Francesco] Totti, [Roberto] Baggio etc, but he still has excellent technique.
“Pirlo? Italian football misses him, but he’s not the only one. Andrea could decide games at any moment and gave the game exceptional quality.
“The Coach has made a choice, as has Andrea, who decided to go and live in a beautiful place.”