Having played more than 600 times for the Italian side over 18 years, De Rossi could have expected a hero’s welcome on his return to the Stadio Olimpico for Sunday’s game against Lazio.

However, the 36-year-old Rome native hired a makeup artist to give him a disguise and ensure he could enter the Curva Sud — the section where the most fervent fans sit — without being recognized.

His wife Sarah Felberbaum posted a video on her Instagram account showing the process, which ended with De Rossi looking almost unrecognizable in a long, gray wig and glasses.
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“Here’s what happens when your husband decides to infiltrate the Curva Sud to fulfill his dream and see the derby,” she wrote.

“We lost an entire afternoon, hours of make up, traumatized the children but he was happy as a child. (I love you).”

Video footage on Twitter shows De Rossi waving a flag in the Curva Sud with fans around him none the wiser.

Roma and Lazio boast one of the fiercest rivalries in Italian football and the two teams could not be separated Sunday, with the 1-1 draw ending Lazio’s run of 11 straight wins.