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Roma ace De Rossi happy to rescue Italy

Italy hero Daniele de Rossi admits he was to blame for Paraguay's goal in their 1-1 draw.

The Roma midfielder did pop up to score the Azzurri's equaliser.

"We played well, were tough and allowed Paraguay very little. My mistake led to the goal, so everyone was angry," he said after netting the equaliser in this 1-1 draw.

"We were going too deep defending the free kicks, but he was my man and I was meant to be marking him. I definitely take the blame for that goal.

"It was important to get back on track at the start of the second half and we felt the path was there for the victory.

"I don't think it was a tactical issue, as Paraguay were more aggressive in the first half and lost that intensity a little as time wore on.

"We passed the ball around, but were a little sterile in the final third and you pay for that at this level. We need to improve in the final third, to be more clinical and to get the final pass into the box. That's what counts in a World Cup."

De Rossi added: "It's never easy to evaluate on the basis of the first game. We are not so arrogant as to assume we are better than the rest.

"There are two or three sides with better quality throughout, namely Spain, Argentina and Brazil. England are more similar to us, but we are always tough for any opponent. Let's not forget we only lost to Spain on penalties in Euro 2008."

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Tribal Football Staff

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