Saturday April 11 2020
De Rossi: 'Not my choice to leave Roma'

Daniele De Rossi admits “it wasn’t my choice to leave Roma,” he learned so much at Boca Juniors and is fired up to begin his coaching career. “I believe I can do this.”

The midfielder hung up his boots last month after a lifetime with the Giallorossi and brief experience in Argentina with Boca Juniors.

“It’s very rare to play 20 years in one club, so my career path has been pretty unusual,” De Rossi told Sky Sport Italia.

“I cannot dream of doing the same if I become a coach, because there is no such thing as a job that lasts that long. I would love to be the coach of Roma, but first I have to go through the growth process and career that all young tacticians must experience.

“Obviously, I would like to see myself on the Roma bench, but I am in no rush to make it happen tomorrow. If it does happen, it’ll be because I’ve become a good coach rather than having been an important player for Roma.”

De Rossi would be following in the footsteps of his father, Alberto, who has been the coach of the Roma youth academy for many years.

“I start this journey not just because I’d enjoy it, but as I think I can do it. People have always seen me as a leader in the locker room, but the coach has to make decisions, choose staff and ultimately be alone under that pressure.

“I’ll try to learn from different coaches as I begin this new career and I think Pep Guardiola would be a good place to start.”

Following in the footsteps of Francesco Totti, De Rossi too was effectively pushed out by Roma, who refused to offer a new contract last summer.

“I was calm and I never faked anything. It would hurt anyone to leave somewhere after 20 years and there is a sense of melancholy, but it was important for me to show the fans this wasn’t a tragedy.

“It wasn’t my choice to leave Roma, but I did decide when to leave football. They were both two decisions I didn’t want to make,” continued the midfielder.

“My only regret is that I never got to win something truly important at Roma. Some said I lacked ambition, but there’s nothing more ambitious than trying to win at a club that rarely has silverware.

“As for the future, nobody has called me to discuss a return to Roma. Roman Riquelme said Boca Juniors wanted me to stay, but I had to tell them it was important for my family to be back in Rome. We had settled well in Buenos Aires too, but there were reasons why I had to return.

“It was a marvellous experience and I learned so much. I also realised how much talent can be wasted without organisation and if Argentina can find that element, they’d change world football, because they have just as much talent as Brazil.”

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