Daniele De Rossi has officially announced his retirement at the age of 36 after a career spent with Roma and Boca Juniors. “I simply need to be back home.”
It was announced in a joint press conference with Boca Juniors President Jorge Amor Ameal this evening.
“It’s not a serious injury problem or any other major issue, really,” assured DDR to the media.
“I simply feel the need to be back with my family. I miss my daughter in particular and she is missing me. I have made this decision, it is definitive.
“Everyone has tried to convince me otherwise, they offered me more time, but the decision has been made and there’s nothing strange about it.
“I leave a piece of my heart here, as nobody can realise what it means to play at the Bombonera and be in the Boca dressing room. This has been a unique experience.
“You welcomed me like a brother here and I will never forget that. I’ll continue watching Boca games and I’m sure I’ll come back in future to be in the stands. I had made my decision in October, but I thought it only right to come back here and tell people face-to-face, as a sign of respect.
“Along with this club that will always have a place in my heart, I also leave my playing career. I will certainly continue to work in football, though.”
The midfielder also won the 2006 World Cup with Italy, earning 117 caps and 21 goals for his country at senior level.
De Rossi had spent his entire life with the Roma jersey on his back, a fan since childhood, then moving up through their youth academy to become captain after Francesco Totti hung up his boots.
However, he was given the same fate, as the Giallorossi refused to offer him a new contract when it expired in June 2019.
De Rossi was able to fulfil another lifelong dream of playing for Boca Juniors at the Bombonera, moving out to Argentina on a contract to June 2020.
He decided today to cut the experience short and return home to Italy, also announcing his playing career would end here.
De Rossi retires after 616 competitive games for Roma and six in a Boca jersey.
There have been reports that he could be given a role as a youth team coach at Roma, especially if the club is taken over by The Friedkin Group.
De Rossi's father Alberto has been the Roma Primavera youth academy coach for many years.