Roma's Daniele De Rossi: 'It's beautiful' to work under Antonio Conte
Daniele De Rossi has spoken of his admiration for Chelsea manager Antonio Conte ahead of Roma's meeting with the Premier League champions on Wednesday.
De Rossi played under Conte when he was manager of Italy between 2014 and 2016 and the Roma captain says he learned a lot in those years.
"If one day I am to become a coach, I will take a lot from [Antonio Conte] and from Luis Enrique," De Rossi told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "He illuminated me, and it's not the first time I say that. It's not easy to be one of his players, but it's beautiful."
Conte took over an Italy side who had just suffered their second straight elimination from the group stages of the World Cup in 2014 and led the Azzurri to the Euro 2016 quarterfinals, where they lost to Germany on penalties.
"He called me and told me, 'If you're 100 percent then you'll play, otherwise I'm not calling you up,' and I love people like that, who tell you the truth," De Rossi said, recalling the moment Conte picked him for his Euro 2016 squad. "Tactically he's a monster, an animal.
"It was a great experience at the European Championship. Conte gave back to me the belief that I could still be a certain type of footballer; that I could still train at a feral rhythm, because when you work for him, either you run yourself into the ground and keep up with the pace, or you don't go anywhere."
Conte -- who led Juventus to three straight Serie A titles before becoming Italy boss -- took charge at Chelsea after his Italy stint and won the Premier League at the end of his first season coaching abroad.
Chelsea currently lead Champions League Group C with six points, with Roma on four points, Atletico Madrid on one point and Qarabag yet to get off the mark.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.