Daniele De Rossi said Nicolò Zaniolo will “become a great champion” after his brace against Porto, but is concerned that Roma conceded that away goal.

The 19-year-old had never scored in the Champions League before, but bagged a brace within six minutes at the Olimpico in this Round of 16 first leg.

“It’s another record that adds to what he is showing not just game by game, but training session by training session. He has incredible physicality as well as technique, so it’s obvious he’ll become a great champion,” the captain told Sky Sport Italia after a 2-1 victory.

“I played man-marked for almost the entire 90 minutes, but we knew that, as Conceicao always marks the deep-lying playmaker. It’s not much fun, but you try to help out your teammates in different ways.

“There are regrets over the away goal, because unlike in recent months, we stayed really solid and allowed practically nothing. We conceded that goal on a mis-kick just three minutes after scoring our second, so it put the wind up us.

“I would’ve been happy if someone had told me before the game that we’d win 2-1. It’s not the best result, it changes a lot from 2-0, so let’s say we have the advantage 51-49.

“We had studied Porto and knew they were a bit more physical, less focused on passing than under previous Coaches. They are quite different to most Portuguese clubs too, but we knew they played this type of football and Ivan Marcano had warned us they were a very different side now.”


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Football Italia staff