Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi has hit out at the treatment of Luciano Spalletti after he left after four years in charge of the Eternal City club.
The Italian star, who is still struggling to come to terms with the coach's shock departure, has now pointed the finger at the fickle Giallorossi supporters.
"I am sorry, really sorry," he lamented on Rai TV last night following Italy's 2-0 win over Bulgaria in a World Cup qualifier. "Roma is a peculiar city and I didn't like the way it behaved towards him. He was first treated as a scapegoat and now that he is gone everyone is there scratching their heads."
Spalletti arrived in the Italian capital in 2005 to reverse Roma's fortunes after a dismal season, and De Rossi has only words of praise for the Tuscan coach.
"When he arrived, the situation was not really rosy," he explained. "He got Roma back on track and did a great job, bordering on perfection. I have to admit that I am very attached to him: he is the coach under whom I have improved and matured the most.
"And he is the only one I will go to dinner with after retiring. And it hurts to still hear certain things about our dressing room and how he was sent away by this or that - it's not true.
"He left with great dignity and because he was convinced there weren't the right conditions any more."