De Rossi finished on the winning side Italy defeated England 2-1 in their World Cup opener.
"It is never normal for me to play against Gerrard. It always gets me emotional, I won't deny it. Of course, on the field you've got to get stuck in there, but it is always a pleasure and an honour. He's also a very nice guy, always very approachable.
"I cheered on Liverpool until the end, but they lost the Premier League title in an incredible way. Players like Gerrard, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Xavi or Iniesta never go past the apex of their careers."
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