Daniele De Rossi feels right at home with Boca Juniors because “they live football 24 hours a day and it’s the same madness as at Roma.”
The 36-year-old was formally presented to the media in a Press conference this evening, sat next to club director and former Roma teammate Nicolas Andre Burdisso.
“Burdisso told me so much about Boca. If you’re not in the stadium, you can’t understand what it’s like to be a part of it. This is spectacular, of course, but on top of the affection, I also found a club that is well-run and reliable,” said De Rossi.
“The fans are just incredible. The only way I can thank them is to do my job and that’s extra motivation. I am here as a football player and that’s a great responsibility.”
Most expected De Rossi to retire after Roma refused to offer him a new contract, following in the footsteps of Francesco Totti, but he opted for a new adventure in Buenos Aires.
“Once the news of my Roma departure was official, Burdisso started calling and he really wanted to bring me here. I said yes immediately, but then had to think about it, because such a big change was frightening.
“I said yes because I wanted to play football in a stimulating environment. The guarantee was provided by Burdisso, who told me the President (Daniel Angelici) is an honest man and that we do things here to win. I know he’d never take me somewhere that would make me unhappy.
“I don’t need anyone to promise me some sci-fi scenario. I need reliable people, as I just want to play football. It’s important that here they live football 24 hours a day, the way I do. I don’t want to be somewhere that switches me off.
“My objectives are the same as Boca, to win the Libertadores and everything else. I am here to help. The team is concentrated and I’d love to make my debut in this competition.”
De Rossi has been a Boca supporter for many years and always said it was his dream to play at the Bombonera.
“Every player should enjoy what I’m feeling right now, because if you love playing football, you can’t do without an experience like this.
“I grew up in the years just after Diego Maradona’s Napoli. You can’t help but fall in love with a player like that, so he got me interested in Boca and then my focus moved on to the madness of being here.
“I lived in an environment of madness at Roma, fans who live football 24 hours a day. I might’ve been a more relaxed person playing somewhere else, but that’s just what I’m like.
“I chose Boca because whatever happens this season, I will be enriched as a person and my family will feel that way too.
“As a player, you can keep learning and improving at any age. My objective is to give Boca what I had hoped to give my teammates at Roma. I am not Leo Messi or Maradona, but when I’m in shape, I can help this team.”