De Rossi plays down Roma title expectations

Roma vice-captain Daniele De Rossi has played down expectations of a Serie A triumph for the capital club in the coming season.

Rudi Garcia's men finished second in the Italian top flight last term in the Frenchman's maiden year in charge at the Stadio Olimpico.

Despite going 17 league games unbeaten at the start of the season, Roma finished 17 points behind Juve as the Turin club won their third consecutive title.

However, the departure of Antonio Conte from the Juve dugout has led many to question their title credentials for this year, while Roma have recruited extensively to sign the likes of Ashley Cole, Davide Astori and Juan Iturbe.

But, speaking after a 2-0 loss to Inter in the International Champions Cup in Philadelphia on Saturday, De Rossi still believes it will be a difficult ask for Roma to win their first Scudetto since the 2000-01 season.

"This year for the first time I will say we have to target the Scudetto, but targeting is not the same as achieving and it's not as easy as people think," De Rossi told Roma Channel.

"From what I hear people seem to say Inter are weak and Juve without Conte are an amateur team.

"On top of that, Romanisti [Roma fans] might make fun of Lazio, but they have constructed a good squad, while Fiorentina recovered two important players like Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez.

"Our objective is the Scudetto, but it won't be easy."