There are certainly no shortage of reasons to love Daniele De Rossi. He was a world class midfielder for much of his career, one with an unparalleled combination of defensive discipline/intelligence and offensive acumen; he'd spend the entire match deflating opponents by shutting down any and all passing lanes, executing picture perfect hook tackles and pulling the ball off the line, then, in the blink of an eye, he'd chip a ball 30-yards to Francesco Totti or Vincenzo Montella to win the match. In a word, he was complete; perhaps the most complete midfielder of his generation.
Yet, despite that enormous amount of talent, Roma fan's love for him was so deep and so unwavering simply because he was one of them; it was almost as if his entire career was the result of some insane contest that turned the most fervent fan into an actual player. The smile on his face and the intensity in his eyes were testament to the true passion and appreciation with which he approached the game. You got the feeling he'd be playing the exact same way and celebrating just as exuberantly if he were playing in a beer league with his friends after work.
So far we've reflected on those traits via De Rossi's sometimes delirious celebrations of his teammates accomplishments—like we said, De Rossi is as big a Roma fan as any of us—but I feel like we've sold his actual offensive prowess short.
As we discussed yesterday, De Rossi began his career as a forward while still learning the ropes in Ostia, and there were many moments throughout his career when it seemed like maybe he should have stayed in that lane—De Rossi had a rocket of a right foot, and it was one that pulled Roma's ass from the fire several times, so it's not that far fetched to envision him as a legit number nine.
However, thanks in part to his youthful days leading the front line, De Rossi was one among many weapons in Roma's attack over the past 18 years. Recently the club ran through their top 10 goals of De Rossi's career, and while they're all well and good, I'm afraid they forgot this stunner.
Daniele De Rossi vs Chievo Verona: May 16, 2010
There was a brief moment in time, about 12 minutes on the afternoon of May 16, 2010, when this goal “sealed” the Scudetto for Roma. Trailing Inter Milan by two points heading into this Round 38 fixture, Roma seized the lead over Chievo thanks to a 40th minute goal from Mirko Vucinic, which was then followed up by this De Rossi screamer five minutes later.
At that point, Inter were sputtering against Siena, stuck in a scoreless match through 56 minutes, and with all the matches that day kicking off simultaneously, De Rossi had no idea that his goal wasn't the icing on Roma's Scudetto cake. However, as the clock moved past the 57 minute mark at the Artemio Franchi, Diego Milito found the back of the net, delivering Inter the Scudetto in the process. (Incidentally, that season is the entire reason I hate Inter Milan more than any other Italian team to this day.)
A downer for sure, but don't let that distract you from the sheer brilliance of this goal, one that may never have happened if Simone Perrotta hadn't busted his ass to save possession after an errant Rodrigo Taddei pass. Perrotta would keep the play alive once more, chasing down another off the mark pass, this time from David Pizarro, before playing the ball back to Pizarro.
Pek's subsequent attempt on goal eventually fell right back at his feet, and being the cool and collected player he was, he quickly turned around and found De Rossi about 25 yards or so away from the goal.
And with a clear path in front of him, De Rossi just fucking ripped it, BURYING it in the upper right hand corner of the goal, once again testing capacity of Carlo Zampa's lungs...Mama mia, che gol!
This was just one of 63 goals De Rossi has scored in a Roma shirt, but I'm not sure the other 62 can match this one in terms of sheer audacity. De Rossi could attempt this shot 100 more times and probably never hit it so powerfully and so precisely; it was that jaw dropping.
In a word, this goal was perfect, but better than that, it was perfectly De Rossi.