De Rossi wants football to grab headlines in Coppa Italia final

The Italy midfielder says the reputation of the derby has suffered following ugly scenes between supporters, but wants on-pitch matters to be the talking points on Sunday
Daniele De Rossi hopes it will be the football and not the off-field incidents involving fans which will grab the headlines when Roma and Lazio clash in the Coppa Italia final.

Matches between the two sides have been marred by violent scenes and the Giallorossi midfielder is hoping to avoid a repeat of events which saw two people stabbed in Rome prior to the Serie A derby in April.

The Italy international wants there to be a celebratory atmosphere at Stadio Olimpico which he believes would go some way to repairing the damaged reputation of football in the city whilst is also upbeat about Roma's chances.

"I am confident ahead of the derby," the 29-year-old told Corriere dello Sport.

"It is going to be a good party. There are many people who want to come to the stadium hoping to celebrate and I hope that they will leave all the guns and knives at home."

De Rossi is also aware that the players have to lead by example, however, in the last five matches there have been eight red cards shared between the two sides. De Rossi is hoping that tally won't be added to this weekend.
"We know that the game is highly charged and on the pitch we must be the first not to overdo it because that might trigger something unpleasant, that should not be the case at all," he continued.

"Everyone, especially for me as a Roman, would like to see a great test of maturity on the part of the city.

"We want to win and play well because we know how important it is, but there is also a lot of responsibility because there cannot be flaring tempers.

"This game can be an excuse to improve the image of a city like Rome, and Italian football in general, not make it worse."

Roma are going for an all-time record of Coppa Italia success and will go into double figures with a win against their fiercest rivals on Sunday.