Daniele De Rossi’s dream debut marked by a goal for Lippi’s Azzurri teamThe World Champion, who is the fourth most capped Italian player in history, made his debut in 2004 in a World Cup qualifier against Norway
Monday, May 18, 2020
After the disaster in the European Championship in Portugal that saw Trapattoni’s Azzurri eliminated in the group stage, Marcello Lippi’s great story with the national team began, a story with a happy ending: the triumph in Berlin two years later.
In those months, a 21-year-old Daniele De Rossi showcased his talents on the national stage: a player who combined technical ability, competitive attitude and defensive excellence in a mix that even convinced a coach of Fabio Capello’s stature to hand the youngster the keys to Roma’s midfield. Thus, the player from Ostia immediately became central to Lippi’s national team project and he made his debut in a World Cup qualifier against Norway in Palermo on 4 September 2004. The match took place roughly three months after Italy’s success in the U21 European Championship, a tournament in which Daniele was a key player scoring two goals, one of which was in the final.
Carew’s goal in the first minute served as a wake-up call for the Italians, who quickly resolved matters three minutes later thanks to the debutant De Rossi’s precise right-footed strike after Miccoli’s corner.
After strong resistance, Norway finally broke in the second half and Luca Toni’s goal sealed victory ten minutes before the end of the match.
The Roma midfielder said the following to La Gazzetta dello Sport following the game: “It was an amazing evening: to win and score…I enjoyed myself! My teammates looked for me and helped a lot, not just tonight but throughout the week, so I thank them for that.”
Coach Marcello Lippi sung the midfielder’s praises: “I thought De Rossi’s performance was exceptional. I’ve always liked him, right from the first time I saw him play.”
It was a great start for a player who was able to bounce back after his red card against the USA at the World Cup in Germany to then score one of the decisive penalties in the final against France. Nerves of steel.
His 117 appearances, accompanied by 21 goals, make him the most prolific midfielder in Azzurri history, as well as the fourth most capped Italian player overall.
ITALY’S LINE-UP ON DE ROSSI’S DEBUT
Buffon - Bonera, Nesta, Materazzi, Favalli (Diana 69) - Fiore, Gattuso, De Rossi, Zambrotta - Miccoli (Toni 74), Gilardino (Corradi 59)