Born and bred in the Eternal City, Daniele De Rossi is yet another product to have rolled off the AS Roma production line. The perfect foil to the revered Francesco Totti, his job in the Giallorossi midfield is to provide defensive cover while also trying his luck from distance whenever the chance arises. And like the inspirational No10, De Rossi has a burning will to win and the character to match.
His progress to the top has been almost relentless. A European champion with the Italian U-21s in 2004, he also won bronze at the Athens 2004 Men's Olympic Football Tournament. He was promoted to full international duty in a Germany 2006 qualifier against Norway just a few months later, marking the occasion with a goal. And in March the following year he donned the captain's armband for the first time in the second half of a friendly against Iceland.
Germany 2006 proved to be a disappointment, however. Sent off in the group match against USA, De Rossi received a four-match suspension, only making his return in the second half of the Final against France, where he successfully converted a penalty in the shootout.
National coach Marcello Lippi thinks highly of the Roma man, comparing him to England duo Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, and has made him a central part of his plans.