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De Rossi battles clock to be fit

SoccerNews in European Championships 28 Jun 2012

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Italian playmaker Daniele De Rossi is in a race against time to be fit for Thursday night’s Euro 2012 semi-final against Germany.

De Rossi, who is struggling with a back problem he suffered against England, is confident his back will stand up to playing against the Germans.

“No-one wants to miss games like this, especially Italy against Germany with a chance to get into the final,” De Rossi said.

“I don’t need to explain how important it is to me and my team-mates. I’d hate to miss it because of an injury.

“It’s not about being a hero or a warrior. I’m a professional and I’d never give up the opportunity to play in any match. I hate missing games.

“I’ve got a bad back but I’m confident I can play. We are going to have a late fitness test but, of course, I will do everything in my power to make sure I’m fit.

While Italy has relied on De Rossie for grunt, the four-time World Cup winners will also look to playmaker Andrea Pirlo to be their architect in central midfield and control the tempo of the game, as he did against England on Sunday.

“We don’t have any specific plans for our individuals but of course when there is a genius in any side like Andrea, the opposition are always going to keep a closer eye on him,” De Rossi said.

“We can’t change the approach we’ve taken in the last two years. It would be useless to do that.

“(But) perhaps we won’t dominate the play like we did against England because we’re coming up against a stronger side.”

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