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De Rossi ready for two unforgettable European nights

Club captain Daniele De Rossi knows Roma will have to leave no stone unturned in their preparations for a huge European quarter-final clash against Barcelona.

The Giallorossi will face Lionel Messi's side for a place in the semi-finals of this season's competition, with the first leg scheduled for the Camp Nou on April 4 and the return at the Stadio Olimpico coming a week later.

"There were only great sides left in the draw," De Rossi said. "Maybe we would have preferred one of the others but we are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and already showed how proud we were about that.

"We were going to face one of the best seven sides around, maybe it's a shame we ended up with arguably the best, but that's the draw.

So enough about luck or bad luck, we will focus on the two league games ahead of us and then, when the time comes, we will prepare and prepare very well for two huge nights, two big European occasions for Roma. We'll get ready, be very prepared. Never say never."

De Rossi believes Roma's status as underdogs does not mean they cannot spring a surprise.

"We saw how Chelsea played [against Barca in the last round] - they didn't win, but they had Barca in trouble at times and we will try to do that and more," De Rossi added.

"We will be playing against some of the best players in the history of the game, a lot of players that have had an impact on one of the great, unforgettable dynasties in football. They've changed the way we think about football, the way we play the game. But, nevertheless, there will be 11 of us, there will be 11 of them, we will prepare to go and try to win."

He concluded: "Mentally, we'll have to be fired up, we'll have to have an awareness that, while we might not be as good as them, anything can happen in football. We are not here through luck, we don't have to play the loser's role.

"We have to put in two great performances first in order to be ready mentally, first against Crotone and then Bologna - these are certainly important games we have before all that, both for the league campaign but also to prepare the right way for those games against Barcelona."
Friday March 16, 2018
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