Daniele De Rossi hopes football will grab the headlines when Roma and Lazio clash in the Coppa Italia final on Sunday.
Matches between the two fierce rivals have been marred by violent scenes in recent years, and De Rossi is hoping to avoid a repeat of events which saw two people stabbed in Rome prior to the Serie A derby in April.
The Italy international wants there to be a celebratory atmosphere at Stadio Olimpico, which he believes would go some way to repairing the damaged reputation of football in the city.
“I am confident ahead of the derby,” he told Corriere dello Sport.
“It is going to be a good party. There are many people who want to come to the stadium hoping to celebrate and I hope that they will leave all the guns and knives at home.”
De Rossi is also aware that the players have to lead by example.
In the last five matches there have been eight red cards shared between the two sides and the midfielder is hoping that tally will not be added to this weekend.
“We know that the game is highly charged and on the pitch we must be the first not to overdo it because that might trigger something unpleasant, that should not be the case at all,” he said.
“Everyone, especially for me as a Roman, would like to see a great test of maturity on the part of the city.
“We want to win and play well because we know how important it is, but there is also a lot of responsibility because there cannot be flaring tempers.
“This game can be an excuse to improve the image of a city like Rome, and Italian football in general, not make it worse.”
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