Italy's national side have had a tumultuous World Cup qualifying campaign, which has been devoid of moments to celebrate, but it has been revealed that Daniele De Rossi offered one last moment of class on the international stage when he boarded Sweden's team bus to congratulate them and apologise for the heckling during their national anthem on Monday.
Italy's defeat at the hands of Sweden ensured they would not qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958, and the ill feeling at the San Siro was felt prior to the start of the final qualifying game as the crowd booed through Sweden's national anthem, much to De Rossi's despair.
The 34-year-old then took matters into his own hands following the match, as Sweden and Celtic right-back Mikael Lustig revealed to Swedish media that the Italian went onto their team bus to apologise for the response during the national anthem.
Defender Pontus Jansson also weighed in on the show of class by De Rossi, he told Expressen via Football Italia: "He [De Rossi] said well done and apologised for how some of the players behaved in Stockholm, and for how some of the fans booed our national anthem in the return leg.
Daniele De Rossi went onboard the Swedish player bus and apologised after the 2nd leg for some of the Italy players acted in the first game against Sweden in Stockholm and for the Italy fans booing during the Swedish national anthem acc to Swedish media. SUCH. A. CLASS ACT.👏👏 pic.twitter.com/uBTGAFbJEl— Maxi (@MaaxiAngelo) November 15, 2017
"The whole atmosphere on the bus was like: 'Wow, did that really happen?'. It was one of the nicest moments for a long time actually, what a damn gentleman."
Sweden's coach, although absent from the bus at the time of the visit, hailed the act by De Rossi, he said: “That’s sport at its best, you can brawl with each other out on the pitch, it can be a ‘small war’ but afterward you shake each others’ hands.”
However, De Rossi's incredible display of sportsmanship was not his only act which caught the headlines following Italy's defeat, as the midfielder was caught encouraging his manager to play Lorenzo Insigne instead of him as his side desperately needed to score to qualify.