IL TEMPO (A. AUSTINI) – He has just returned in time. With a mad desire to fully enjoy all the emotions that the field can still give him. Daniele De Rossi took Rome by the hand and now wants to guide it … in Porto . Tomorrow went to the Champions League first knockout rounds, one of those special evenings to be experienced with intensity, a match that is worth prestige, money and can direct the season: the captain answers this and looks for a personal revenge . Yes because the elimination in the preliminaries of the summer 2016 if he feels it, the incredible beating in the return home (0-3) was the consequence of his expulsion , followed by that of Emerson Palmieri, in a nightmare night. And a tragedy: a few hours after the ko of Rome an earthquake shook the center of Italy destroying Amatrice
Two and a half years away here again De Rossi, still staple and leader of a team that in the Champions League can recover the many opportunities thrown in the league. Of all the movement players left in the second round, the only Juventus Barzagli is more "old" than him: class '81 for the defender, there is none of the 82 while De Rossi is part of the four boys of 83 still in contention. One will be among the rivals tomorrow night, that Pepe returned a month ago from Turkey to drive the defense of the Port again. Go for the 36 years also Ribery of the Bayern and Huntelaar of the Ajax idem Riether which is part of the rose of the Schalke but He is not on the Uefa list and has not played a minute in season.
In short, De Rossi is part of a small circle of " highlander " of European football and, as Uefa said earlier in the season, is the most faithful flag in activity after starting the 18th season as a Romanist. Like Zaniolo, he debuted in the Champions League at 18 against Anderlecht even before playing in the league, since then (October 2001) he has put together 61 appearances in the most prestigious competition overcoming Totti, who stopped this year from 57. If we widen the bill to all continental competitions, De Rossi is at 96 and dreams of crossing the finish line of 100 this year bringing Roma to the quarterfinals. And playing. In that case the record of European presences of Totti would be distant only 3 games.
One thing at a time. Meanwhile, Daniele is managing training after the training of the knee, after an individual work done Saturday, yesterday he returned to the group like Lorenzo Pellegrini and Manolas. All three will be holders tomorrow and if in defense the only doubt is on the right between Karsdorp and Florenzi, in midfield could rest Nzonzi, ready to give the change just to De Rossi. But it is not excluded that Di Francesco opts for the double median in the heart of the field in a match where it will be important not to suffer goals. Schick is out of action together with Under and Perotti, touches then to Zaniolo c complete the attack trio with El Shaarawy and Dzeko while only today will you understand who plays in the door: Olsen is expected to audition in the afternoon session Mirante warms up to replace him while Fuzato may possibly go on the bench after his inclusion on the Uefa list at the end of the market.