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The defender scored his side's opening goal on Sunday and revealed his delight at his rare appearance on the scoresheet.

Roma defender Federico Balzaretti said that he started crying with joy after scoring in his side's 2-0 derby win over Lazio.

The Giallorossi exacted revenge on Lazio for last season's Coppa Italia final defeat through a two-goal triumph at the Stadio Olimpico, with Rudi Garcia's side taking the lead through Balzaretti in the 63rd minute.

A stoppage-time penalty from Adem Ljajic allowed Roma to extend its lead, and derby hero Balzaretti, who was heavily criticized following last season's loss to Lazio in May, is thrilled with his and the team's turnaround under Garcia.

"I felt such incredible joy and emotion," Balzaretti told Mediaset. "This doesn’t happen every day. I tend to score once every four years, so to do it in the derby. So much went through my head at that moment.

"Criticism is part of the sport and my strength is that I keep working the way I always have done. I know the club has faith in me and my teammates care for me.

"The problem is not what others say, but how I feel and I can assure you that when I play badly, I feel absolutely terrible. I try to take responsibility and keep working.

"Rudi Garcia did very well to bring the team back together after we had so much mud thrown at us over the last few months. He worked on us psychologically and gave us back our confidence. The squad understood his style of football and the results are clear."

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