De rossi

De Rossi: “To beat Milan, we needed excellence, almost perfection”


Daniele De Rossi says his Roma side needed ‘excellence’ to beat Milan 2-1 in the Europa League, booking a place in the semi-finals. Goals from Paulo Dybala and Gianluca Mancini were enough to secure a 3-1 victory on aggregate, setting up a tough clash against Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen. Speaking post-match, De Rossi explained what it took to beat the Rossoneri, and why he say it as a balanced match:

“To beat Milan, we needed excellence, almost perfection. In my opinion, we played two excellent games. We needed great heart; when we were reduced to 10 men, we had to play a game of running and tactical awareness. It’s a pride to be the coach of such a team. Milan plays really well, we even saw Real Madrid close up and then counterattack like them.”

De Rossi continued, “For me, it was a balanced game. In the return leg, we started very well; we had something magical about us. When you close down the opposing team in their area, it cannot be said that we played badly. Given that Milan is a strong team, the credit also goes to us for making it a balanced game against such a strong opponent.”

Regarding the action that led to the goal, De Rossi said, “I hadn’t seen Mancini’s stop; perhaps that’s what I liked the most. I didn’t understand much; we tried to attack the empty space, a bit from everyone. We see training sessions with defenders very involved in attack, and Mancini feels comfortable in the opponent’s half. No one has defenders staying in their own half anymore. Believing in what seems impossible makes the difference.”

On the UEFA Ranking, he commented, “Now, in Europe, we manage to bring teams where they deserve to be. In the Champions League, there may be years when you manage to go all the way, and other times not. We need to be more rational; we have many values and many players who are eager to play in Italy. With the right ideas, we can go far. With this kind of environment, players feel like playing in Italy.”

The coach concluded, “Young coaches? We continue to produce coaches who don’t disappoint. They need the opportunity to understand if a coach is ready. The opportunity came to me out of the blue, but the Italian coaching school will continue to produce interesting coaches. It’s normal that in young coaches, we see ideas of a certain kind, influenced by the older generation.”


Serie A obsessive.