Cafu admits he did not see former team-mate Daniele De Rossi becoming a head coach, but hopes the Roma boss can "do great things" with the Giallorossi.

The former midfielder replaced Jose Mourinho in the Stadio Olimpico dugout in January on a deal until the end of the season, and has overseen nine victories in 14 Serie A games - only losing to newly crowned champions Inter and fourth-place Bologna.

De Rossi's glittering career at Roma as a player, which brought over 600 appearances across an 18-year period, was in its infancy when he briefly played alongside Cafu for the Giallorossi during the early 2000s.

The former Brazil captain, who played 217 times between 1997 and 2003, helped the club win the Scudetto under Fabio Capello in the 2000-01 season, and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2012.

And the 53-year-old has been delighted by the strides De Rossi has made since their playing days.

"I know him well. He's that kid who used to play with us, who we saw grow up at Roma," Cafu told Stats Perform. "Now, he has become the boss of one of the most important teams in the world and in Italy, which is Roma.

"Things change a lot in football. He seemed to be a shy and calm guy, and yet he grew up, becoming this really great coach. We have to wish him good luck. I hope he can do great things.

"I am very happy when I see that my team-mates are doing well, working as coaches, deputy coaches, athletic trainers. It is always very pleasing for me to see that they have grown a lot in the world of football.

"It is even more pleasing to see that kid grow up, a kid that now has become a coach, a great one; I am very happy."

De Rossi is also overseeing another impressive European campaign for Roma, who were Europa League runners-up to Sevilla last term and back in the semi-finals of this season's competition.

The Giallorossi are gearing up for a mouth-watering showdown with newly crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen, who are unbeaten in all competitions.

"It's always hard to say when you're talking about two great teams," Cafu added. "Both Bayer and Roma are playing really well. I hope Roma can play a great game and get as far as they can."