Daniele De Rossi: Antonio Conte will get maximum out of Italy at Euro 2016
Daniele De Rossi says that Antonio Conte is getting the best out of him and his Italy teammates, declaring him the ideal person to lead the Azzurri at Euro 2016.
While stating he has "never worked so hard" as he has under Conte, De Rossi, 32, also spoke highly of the future Chelsea manager's impact on the national team and tipped him to get the maximum out of the squad in France.
"He always knows how to press the right buttons and get through to your mind and legs," De Rossi said at a news conference from Italy's pre-Euro 2016 training camp in Coverciano. "It's been ages since I felt as good as I do now. He's a great coach. He's the best person for this historic moment in our football.
"His Juve side would win with their technical superiority, but they also knew how to crush you physically. That is precisely what we hope to do now in France."
The 2006 World Cup winner knows what it takes to be successful at a major tournament and although he admits Italy's chances this summer may look bleak, he is refusing to rule out getting his hands on another piece of international silverware.
"We want to go all the way," De Rossi said. "My objective is to play a great European Championship and to win it. It's obvious that we're not among the favourites, but we have the pride of representing a glorious history and we're a great, organised and physically well prepared side.
"We have the potential to beat anybody and this is something we need to impose on our opponents. Of course you've got to win seven games to get all the way and that is what we're working on."
De Rossi also defended the decision to give Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Thiago Motta the No. 10 shirt for Italy.
Motta was not even expected to be part of the squad, but injuries to Marco Verratti and Claudio Marchisio have given him a chance, and he has been given the iconic jersey, worn in the past by many Italian greats.
"Those who have joked about it just don't know much about football," he said. "Just play the ball around a bit with Thiago Motta and then you will rinse your mouth out. He might not be a No. 10 like [Roberto] Baggio or [Francesco] Totti, but technically he's a master."
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.