World Cup winner De Rossi joins Italy’s coaching staff

<p>ROME &mdash; World Cup winner Daniele De Rossi will begin his coaching career this weekend after joining the staff of Italy coach Roberto Mancini on Thursday.</p>
<p>The Italian Football Association said De Rossi signed a contract on Thursday and will meet with the squad on Sunday at the national team’s headquarters in Coverciano for coming World Cup qualifiers against Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania.</p>
<p>“I’m proud to start this new career with the national team and I thank both president (Gabriele) Gravina and Mancini for the trust and for the opportunity,” the 37-year-old De Rossi said.</p>
<p>“It will be emotional to return to Coverciano, which for me means coming back home and finding so many former teammates and friends in the staff and in the group, and I can’t wait to get started.”</p>
<p>De Rossi made 117 appearances for Italy and won the World Cup in 2006. He spent most of his club career at Roma until retiring last year after a brief spell at Boca Juniors.</p>
<p>He has often talked of his plans to coach, and has been keen to visit top coaches to learn from them.</p>
<p>“I will work with enthusiasm, knowing that I am only at the start and I still have so much to learn, but I hope to also be able to give a hand to the squad,” De Rossi added.</p>
<p>De Rossi is contracted until after the European Championship in July.</p>
<p>“I’m very pleased that Daniele is joining our group, I am certain he will be able to give the lads an important contribution and I hope that this first experience will be useful to him for the future,” Mancini said.</p>
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