Daniele De Rossi explained that his remonstration with Gian Piero Ventura was in a bid to make the head coach put on extra strikers in Italy’s failed bid to reach the 2018 World Cup. 

The Roma stalwart, who said he has taken off the Azzurri jersey “for the last time”, 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 with the match goalless against Sweden on Monday. 

De Rossi is reported to have said “Why the hell should I go on? We don’t need to draw here, we need to win!”.

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But De Rossi explained that it was nothing personal against Ventura.

“We have this tendency to warm up three at a time, then after five minutes we change and another three go,” he said. “I just said we were near the end and had to win, so send the strikers to warm up. I pointed to 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.”

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