Wednesday May 15 2019
De Rossi deserved better

Roma’s treatment of Daniele De Rossi is the final straw for Michael Barbaro, proving club loyalty is dead and the Giallorossi have lost their soul.

May 26 is going to be an emotional day for Italian football fans. Roma announced this week that Daniele De Rossi will play his final game for the club against Parma, just two years after Francesco Totti’s farewell.

But I ask the question - why is it that in most contemporary footballing discussions and debates we beg for more players to show loyalty to their clubs when in reality clubs barely tend to show it back?

De Rossi now is a prime example. He wore the yellow and red of Roma for the first time in Serie A in 2003. Arguably two of Roma’s most under-rated midfielders in history in Olivier Dacourt and Damiano Tommasi played alongside him that day in Fabio Capello’s midfield and the rest, as they say, is history.

Nicknamed ‘Capitan Futuro’ as the eternal heir to Totti’s crown, no sooner had he finally taken over the armband that he was put out to pasture. Whereas Totti clashed with Coaches and resisted a role on the bench, De Rossi has never complained or caused trouble for his club.

Fast forward to 2019. He has now donned those same colours over 600 times without winning a major trophy. At the age of 35, 16 years after his initial appearance, why would he choose to reject the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Inter over the course of his career to remain a one-club player of a team that hasn’t necessarily set the world on fire with the amount of trophies they have won?

The answer is simple - out of love for the Roma shirt. In the words of Totti, a Scudetto in Rome is worth 10 elsewhere. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see Totti lift a Serie A trophy after 2001, and we never got to see De Rossi lift one at all. Again, like Totti, he put his love for this football club before his own personal accolades and trophies.

While the pair got to enjoy the 2006 World Cup triumph alongside another Roman icon in Simone Perrotta, you could argue that the trio would have loved to be able to celebrate a Scudetto together even more. Totti and De Rossi, however, are two Roman boys, spending their career excelling in what they do at the club they loved and supported.

De Rossi deserved to go out on his own terms. He obviously doesn’t have the legs he once did, but in the matches that he has played over the past two seasons, he has by no means played poorly. Just last year in his first official season as Roma’s captain, he scored one of the goals to fire his team into the semi-finals of the Champions League in their famous comeback against Barcelona.

De Rossi arguably worked harder than almost any player in the Roma midfield in his time on the park this season, tirelessly attempting to salvage his team from their woes.

We all hope that he receives almost as big a send-off as Totti did two years ago. It is what he deserves. Many Roma fans over the past 48 hours have voiced their discontent over the club’s hierarchy and their treatment of one of its most loyal servants.

De Rossi does not deserve to be pushed out the door. Giallorossi fans are among the most passionate in Italy. They haven’t enjoyed much success, but pride themselves on supporting a club of identity and character. But as each year passes and their team is dissected for monetary profits and revenues, the soul is being sucked out. I am scared that for many passionate Roma fans, this is the final straw.

It has been an absolute pleasure watching Daniele De Rossi’s football career grow over the past 18 years. He has prided himself on being one of the hardest, toughest and most talented central midfielders the game has ever seen, and he will surely be missed.

Have your say...
@romalat and others thank you, been saying it - clearly Palotta just wants his real estate in Rome. And that is not exactly going well. Atalanta or someone to 'do a Leicester' and win lo scudetto next year (not Roma, with Ranieri, anyway). Better for Serie A like that.
on the 18th May, 2019 at 8:34am
Juve fan since 1994, hardly a bandwagon fan. I've been through the misery of losing 5 CL finals.
Marchisio spent the season injured at Zenit, just look up how much game time he played, so no benefit in having an injured player. You want to win, use your HEAD and not your heart. De Rossi is 35 going on 36 in July. He plays a few games then gets injured, and there is a reason for that. He can't keep up with the young. He is 35 and needs to sail into the sunset and play in the US or China.
on the 17th May, 2019 at 5:39pm
Snakeskin you’re absolutely right, my apologies for not mentioning the great Zanetti.
What a player, what a man! Great to see him being an active ingredient of the Inter fabric and carrying the torch.
If the club screwed him, let’s hope the fans will do their part and send DDR off with a heartfelt show.
What the few idiots did at the San Siro at Maldini’s last home game will always give me nightmares!
on the 17th May, 2019 at 2:13pm
Maldini wasn't the last, Inter bid farewell to Zanetti in beautiful fashion plus gave him a place at the table after his retirement. Another thing just recently Inter renewed the playing contract of a one Andrea Ranocchia simply out of loyalty. It is truly sad how Roma did De Rossi he deserved better but it's no surprise they sort of pushed Totti out too and Niangolan last season.
on the 17th May, 2019 at 3:43am
@joeventuz - your club treated marchisio with utter disrespect and your midfield wouldn't have been tossed like a salad by Atleti in game 1 and by ajax if marchisio hadn't been forced out. you may have 8 scudetti but your lack of emotion/common decency and complacency with allegri's pragmatism will prevent you from winning a champion's league in this decade. get off your high horse and stop telling people how to care for their clubs. After all joining the juve bandwagon is easy, isn't it jo?
on the 16th May, 2019 at 7:26pm
The best solution.
Pallotta steps aside and Daniele De Rossi becomes the first active playing presidents.
Daniele is a hero for me, he stands for loyality, passion and love.
I hope there can be turnaround because i ask myself how i can be a fan of a club who acts like this.
on the 16th May, 2019 at 9:49am
only if masimmo ferrero buy the club, we would see again the lost passionate and loyalty and love in roma. with somebody like pallota or qatari presidents, we will see nothing just damn buisness.
and to palotta, please get the HELL out as soon as possible
on the 16th May, 2019 at 6:22am
...Don’t forget ...he’s a deserved World Cup winner.
First guy/player to rock a beard before it became a thing...and still does.
Loyal to the club and city.
As abruptly as it happened you knew his time was coming to an end of an era.
He was injured and said I’m thinking of retiring very soon. But now seems like he still wants to play.Roma feel like not offering some sort of new contract means that’s it.
He seems totally ok with it. After all he’s set for life.has made BIG money.

on the 16th May, 2019 at 4:05am
To some what echoed from other comments football is run like a business now in aspects. Players have shelf life’s....almost like expiration dates.for it 2B Top level football has to be played a certain fast speed,strategy. 17-30 of age is prime...even tho some players can play @highest level into 40s.
DDR passionate 100% heart, toughness, work, humility, love of the game. Beast of a man on field,and seems like super cool guy off. Can’t hate the guy.
Last of that hero breed.
on the 16th May, 2019 at 3:47am
Derossi was offered numerous jobs with Roma and he declined as he still had the desire to play. I believe Roma's only misstep in this situation was not letting DDR aware of their intentions sooner. On the other hand DDR himself admitted the writing was on the wall and knew they wouldn't be offered him another playing contract. The constant ridicule of Pallotta is unfounded as it seems people have delusional ideas of ROMA's legacy. It was only last season that Roma made the final 4 of champs
on the 16th May, 2019 at 2:14am
How legends even failed in the life at the end. Impossible is nothing! really??
on the 15th May, 2019 at 8:40pm
Its actually quite hateable that absolute star player who once rejected every offer get rejected himself at the end. Todays system is culpable for this. look,, after thirty a player no longer demand to play all the time nor he get same salary he used to..
He just happy to be part of the squad. And todays ruthless society create numerous policy about what to do with over thirty player. Dont go on fact, people still remember zidane got red card in his last match in wc; so do they will remember
on the 15th May, 2019 at 8:36pm
Pallotta has ‘SERIOUSLY’ not a clue with football in general & what the club needs & us, as the fans.

He’s blatantly proving he’s only in it for the money – (Stadio Build). He's a property developer.

He’s looking to make some cash at the expense of an amazing city, team, fans & also at the players expense now!

Pallotta, has ripped a hole right through us and there is no way back now. He has ‘MADE’ Totti retire and now DDR, move out

There is no coming back from this Pallotta, You're Done!
on the 15th May, 2019 at 8:21pm
I MISS MARCO BRANCA... As ridiculous as always. De Rossi has been a stalwart for Roma the last 7 years, while Verratti has spent more time on the treatment table than the field. So no it wouldn't have been ingenious... and absolutely ridiculous talking about a decision made 7 years ago to say de Rossi should have been let go when he was in his prime.
on the 15th May, 2019 at 7:57pm
Sad too see, and how he handled himself in the press conference was truly amazing considering he was being shown the door. I believe one of his best moments (of many) was as a central defender against Spain (in top form) in Euro 2012.

He will be missed and I believe that where ever he ends up next season they will be a better team with Di Rossi.
on the 15th May, 2019 at 7:54pm
I agree with Migliore 100%.
It isn’t just Roma and it isn’t just American, Russian or Middle-Eastern. It is business.
And I also, same as the rest of the lovers of this sport, absolutely hate to see it but fact is fact.
Out of all the great loyals of my generation the only one treated with proper dignity was Maldini and I’m thankful to Milan for that.
DDR, thank you for all that you gave and wish you nothing but the best. You should have deserved better.
Much better !
on the 15th May, 2019 at 7:47pm
Brilliant article! Italians love to pride themselves on "history, loyalty, sacrifice, and humility", and yet Calcio has hardly any of these virtues left.

Italian football has long lost its identity with the loss of true virtuousos like Del Piero, Totti and Buffon... De Rossi was pretty much the long lasting flagbearer of this dying breed, but Rome - the eternal city, if at all it deserves this name anymore - has reduced Calcio into a ruthless business without a soul.

26th May - a Black Day!!
on the 15th May, 2019 at 6:04pm
De Rossi should join a team like Napoli, Inter, or Milan so he can actually win a scudetto 
on the 15th May, 2019 at 6:03pm
It isn't just Roma - modern football spits in the face of those who show their loyalty to a club. Look at the way Casillas, Raul at R. Madrid, Del Piero at Juventus, Totti at Roma as we all know about. It is something of a disgrace that such devoted players are treated like this - it shows how much nowadays business is prioritised over anything else. One might argue that moving an aging player on is always tricky, but there is something to be said for having a bit of tact and some class.
on the 15th May, 2019 at 5:51pm
cmon it's not only the love for the shirt, his salary was also quite good
on the 15th May, 2019 at 5:46pm
Mr. Zeman must be jumping for joy because he wanted to get rid of him 7 years ago and get Verratti .......had they listened to him , we'd be looking back and saying that it was an ingenious move ! DDR will end up in New York imo
on the 15th May, 2019 at 5:29pm
Roma under Pallotta has been one of the worst period in Roma history, he's made Roma as one of the worst managed club in the world. Jimbo clearly doesn't know anything about football, or Roma. It's not just a club, it's a pride. Honor. Heart. Soul. He's ruined everything. As long as he's still the president, forget about Roma winning major trophies. We need someone like the late great Franco Sensi. Someone who ate, slept & breathed Roma all his life. DAJE ROMA !! 
on the 15th May, 2019 at 5:28pm
Palotta is an american businessman, he only cares about profit, that is how american businessmen behave. Same thing goes for Arsenal and Man U owners, they don't care about the fans.
I'm a Juve fan, and I admire De Rossi and loved him for Italy. I admired Totti too, despite his goals against us, true legend. My advice to Roma fans, you have to let go of the emotions and use your heads with decisions, just like we did with Del Piero, Buffon and recently Marchisio. You have to go young!
Forza Juve
on the 15th May, 2019 at 5:18pm
Huh...Seems like club is crumbling apart last few seasons.
They had some good runs finishing 2nd/3rd only to Juve Napoli. CL $$, still had a lethal Totti on bench, good young strong team, a PROMISED new stadio by 2017 had good coaches, investors, brand name was going global.
...then bad runs in CL,Totti farewell season handled awful, Spaletti quit, sold their great players / future stars, stadio keeps being delayed, fired EDF, in DDR leaves abruptly, AND STILL no new stadio til 2021 !?
on the 15th May, 2019 at 5:05pm
Palotta knows nothing about football and even less about Roma. The guy is an utter disaster. The team now has zero heart. If Manolas goes too us fans will be devastated. They should have done all they could to keep Daniele in or around the dressing room. He's much more useful than Totti IMO. God know where Roma go from here. Let's hope little Jim decides to sell the club.
on the 15th May, 2019 at 3:48pm

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