De Rossi to leave Roma after 18 years with hometown club
Roma have announced Daniele De Rossi will be leaving the club at the end of the season, but the World Cup-winner said he will continue playing though league sources tell ESPN FC he won’t be headed to the LA Galaxy of MLS.
De Rossi, who inherited the captaincy of the Giallorossi following the retirement of Francesco Totti in 2017, will move to a new club next season and continue his career away from the Eternal City.
“For 18 years, Daniele has been the beating heart of AS Roma’s team,” said Roma president James Pallotta on the club’s website. “From his debut in 2001 to taking on the responsibility of the captain’s armband, he always represented the Roma fans on the pitch with pride as he established himself as one of the best midfielders in Europe.
“We will all shed tears when he pulls on the Giallorossi shirt for the last time against Parma but we respect his desire to prolong his playing career — even if, at almost 36, it will be away from Rome. On behalf of everyone at Roma, I’d like to thank Daniele for his incredible dedication to this club and ensure him that our doors will remain open for him to return to the club in a new role whenever he wants.”
The 35-year-old’s final game for the club will be their fixture with Parma on May 26.
De Rossi said he understood the club had to take a decision, though he felt he still had more to offer.
“I feel I could still have a made an impact on this team, playing five, 10 games,” he said in a news conference where his departure was confirmed. “[I could help] in the dressing room.
“But I agree the club has to make a decision or I could just get to the end of next season and decide I want to carry on. I’m a little disappointed we haven’t spoken enough this year and I hope this [treatment] will improve in the future because I am a fan, but I understand it’s the club’s decision.”
Daniele De Rossi, Romanista. 💛🐺❤️ pic.twitter.com/AXSvYgwMWB
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 14, 2019
De Rossi was told he could return to the club in the future in some capacity and, asked if he would make a good director, he joked: “I would have renewed De Rossi’s contract.”
The former Italy international has finished a Serie A runner up eight times without ever winning the title but, asked if he could change one thing from his career, he said it would have been the 2018 Champions League semifinal defeat to Liverpool — the furthest Roma had reached in the competition since 1984.
He has made a total of 615 appearances for his hometown club, second only to Totti on the list of the club’s all-time leading appearance makers, since debuting in 2001.
De Rossi is expected to move abroad after leaving Roma, having previously stated his attraction to the Premier League.
ESPN FC U.S. correspondent Jeff Carlisle contributed to this report.