Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi had been left out of the Italy squad to face Spain in Wendesday’s international friendly after he punched Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi in Saturday’s Serie A match.
The 30-year-old picked up a three-match ban for clashing with Icardi as the two awaited the delivery of the ball in the penalty area. Jostling for a better position, de Rossi has a little push at Icardi, before swinging his right arm from behind and landing the hook on his opponent’s jaw.
Referee Mauro Bergonzi failed to see the incident, but it was picked up by television cameras and de Rossi has since been dropped from Cesare Prandelli’s squad to take on the reigning World Cup holders.
Furthermore, he picked up a three-match domestic ban for what was determined a “deliberate” punch, and will miss Roma’s crucial league encounters with rivals Napoli, Udinese and Chievo.
Roma sit second in the Italian league, but de Rossi’s absence will not aid their attempts to reel in the reigning Serie A champions who hold an 11-point lead over their nearest competitors.
HD video of Daniele De Rossi punching Mauro Icardi during a set piece: http://t.co/Lv6kibSkVi; Azzurri (@ItalianNT) March 3, 2014
De Rossi was not alone though. Incredibly, in the same match, Inter’s Juan Jesus was dealt the same punishment after he too was charged with punching Roma defender Alessio Romagnoli.
The 93-time capped Italian has been a reported transfer target for both Manchester City and Chelsea in the past, but has remained in the Italian capital since joining the club in 2000 at the age of 17.