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De Rossi enjoyed "physical" clash with England striker Rooney

AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi enjoyed his clash with Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney last night.

De Rossi finished on the winning team as Italy opened their World Cup with a 2-1 triumph.

"It was a fair duel. He is accustomed in England to playing a very physical game, so I doubt he could've been surprised by my treatment of him!

"I don't think it came across on television how hard it was to play in these conditions, how tough to breathe and continue with that humidity. There were moments when it was really difficult to run two metres, as we were suffocating.

"It's a shame, as that affected the tempo of the match and we wanted to go faster, but it was tough in those conditions.

"England spread the play and take you on one-on-one. We weren't focused enough when conceding the equaliser, it wasn't the best performance in the world, but in these conditions it was difficult to do better.

"There is always scepticism around the Nazionale going into a major tournament with factions saying one thing or the other. Plus this season we left behind players like Giuseppe Rossi and more, so there was bound to be controversy."

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