While participating in ritiro ahead of Euro 2016, Daniele De Rossi spoke to the media at Coverciano:
How are you doing? What is your physical condition like?
I feel great regardless of the slight knock to the tendon, which has been a bit delicate for me. For a year I didn’t feel it at all thanks to the incredible work at Roma. In a physical and athletic level I feel very well, and I haven’t felt this way in a long time.
Is the locker room motivated? Conte is preparing you all well for France?
He really points to motivating the group. He manages to get into the players and motivate them. Evidently we are not the favorites, but we have the historical pride of being Italy. We are a good team, and it’s a good thing to not be favorites, and we can beat any team we come up against. It’s similar to many situations that Roma has faced over the years: We need to make our opponents know that we can beat them.
How was it with what’s going on between Totti, Spalletti, and Roma?
(laughs) it’s nothing. It’s always unfortunate for a player when there is drama in the locker room. Tension is big outside though, we live with that on a daily basis. When it comes between one of the greatest coaches and the greatest player in Roma’s history you can create a catastrophe. It was never helpful to talk about it, and anyone who did, did a disservice, and only created confusion. For this reason I’ve never talked about it, and I’m not going to start talking about it now.
You said that this year was the first time you didn’t feel confident of a call-up.
The difference is that the other times I was pretty sure, even after I didn’t do so well in the friendlies before the call-up. You’re still conscious and aware of the coach’s list. Though, Conte counts physical form very greatly, and having had various injuries, I thought I was a question mark for the coach. I had to do a different job in my approach.
Have you started to think about when you will retire from the national team? Can this squad win the tournament?
My goal was to gain the call-up, but it was not my main goal because for me that is a normal thing to be looking to. My goal is to have a great tournament and to win it. The call-up was just the first step. That is not for me to decide, it’s for the next coach to decide when I stop playing. Many times a player might say their goodbyes while they anticipate this, it is a bit of a clever thing to do, but I’m not thinking of this problem… We must show that we can win seven matches against strong teams. When you arrive at the final eight, you must approach every match like it’s a final, or else you will be going home.
Would you like to one day play in America?
I would like an experience there. If I were gone from Roma, I don’t see myself at Juve, Milan, or Inter, I see myself in a place emotionally distant from Roma. Boca? That’s another thing that I don’t want to get into today.Next season I’ll definitely be playing with Roma so it’s useless to talk about anything else now.
In which position will we see the best De Rossi?
I don’t know, on the field you must observe the opponent so the coach can know where is best. To talk about it beforehand doesn’t make much sense. With the experience that age has given me, I can play in many different set ups.
De Rossi took number 16 for the tournament.