De Rossi ready
By Zarif Rasul
Thursday, 21 June, 2012
Italy star preparing to face his 'idol' Steven Gerrard
Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi has revealed that he will be coming face-to-face with his "idol" when the Azzurri face England in Sunday's Euro 2012 quarter final clash.
De Rossi, who has performed admirably as an auxiliary centre-back for his national side this month, lavished praise on England skipper Steven Gerrard.
Gerrard has shone so far at the European Championships, claiming an assist in each of England's Group D games, and De Rossi admits he takes inspiration from the Liverpool star.
"Steven Gerrard is my idol," said De Rossi.
"He has been at the pinnacle for ten years. You see Gerrard defending and attacking. I would like to be able to play more like that."
While De Rossi admitted that he hadn't seen a great deal of England over the last week and a half, he expressed his confidence in Manager Roy Hodgson's preparations for Sunday's game.
"I've seen little of England, but I'm sure Roy Hodgson will prepare well for this game," he added.
"It's a very 'Italian' team. You can see the sign, from Capello to Hodgson."
De Rossi also warned England about the threat posed by a familiar face to many English fans.
"(Manchester City striker) Mario Balotelli can potentially hurt England and any other team," he added.
Sunday's match will be the first time England and Italy have met in over ten years, and the two nations' first competitive clash since 1997.