Daniele De Rossi has spoken of his delight at Italy earning a 1-1 draw against reigning champions Spain at Euro 2012 on Sunday.
Cesare Prandelli’s men went 1-0 up after Antonio Di Natale came off the bench on the hour-mark to break the deadlock in Gdansk, but Cesc Fabregas managed to claim a point for Spain.
De Rossi, a midfielder by trade, started the match as part of a three-man defence for Italy and received glowing reviews for his performance, and he embodied the feel-good factor sweeping his side’s dressing room.
“The draw against Spain gives us great confidence because it was the hardest game in our group. Being in front of such an opponent was amazing,” he said after the game.
“There’s been some noise around us that did not help us and after the defeat against Russia, it was normal to think of a catastrophe but it was not so, we ended up having a good game.
“I was hoping to make the step up at this level and I must thank my fellow defenders, they were great.”
De Rossi spoke about the performance of surprise starter at left wing-back Emanuele Giaccherini, as well as Spain’s decision to play without a striker.
“Apart from his talent and his dedication, (Giaccherini’s) approach was impressive, as it was not easy to debut for Italy in such a game,” De Rossi said.
“The absence of (Fernando) Torres? We knew that they could play like that, without a pure striker, as they do so often in Barcelona.”
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