Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi has explained that his animated discussions in Italy’s dugout were to do with Lorenzo Insigne.
De Rossi described the situation of the team’s dressing room after Monday night’s 0-0 draw at the San Siro confirmed elimination from the World Cup, for the first time in 60 years.
“There was a funeral atmosphere in the locker room, yet nobody died. Now the next generation is ready to take flight and we must begin again from them. It was almost an absurd moment to associate with a football match,” he said.
De Rossi was also caught up in a drama involving head coach Gian Piero Ventura but the Roma midfielder explained that his remonstration with the coach was in a bid to make him put on extra strikers in Italy’s as the clock ticked away.
The Roma stalwart, was spotted on camera showing his frustration apparently at the decision not to send on Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne, despite Italy desperately needing to score, was reported to have said “why the hell should I go on? We don’t need to draw here, we need to win!”.
“We have this tendency to warm up three at a time, then after five minutes we change and another three go,” he told Rai Sport.
“I just said we were near the end and had to win, so send the strikers to warm up. I pointed to [Lorenzo] Insigne too.
“It wasn’t up to me whether it was a tactical issue. I’m sorry if I offended anyone. At the time I just thought perhaps it was better that Insigne come on instead.”
Italy eventually slumped to a goalless draw, meaning they lost 1-0 on aggregate and missed out on World Cup qualification for the first time since 1958.
De Rossi explained that it was nothing personal against Ventura and, of his own future, he said: “We will begin again, just as we did after other desperately disappointing moments.
“I don’t believe we deserved to go out considering the 180 minutes, Sweden deserve credit for their performance, but it was fairly even. I’ve been wandering around Coverciano and all over the world with this jersey for over a decade, so to take it off for the last time is a strange feeling.”