Daniele De Rossi emotional after battle with 'nice guy' Steven Gerrard

Daniele De Rossi getting stuck in against England.

Credit: PA

"It is never normal for me to play against Steven Gerrard," Italian midfielder Daniele De Rossi said after the Azzurri's 2-1 win over England in Manaus. "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."

De Rossi also revealed that he wanted Gerrard's Liverpool to win the Premier League last season: "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."