Daniele De Rossi laughed off reports of an offer from Juventus, but wouldn’t confirm his Roma future either and revealed he could’ve quit international duty.
The midfielder made his Giallorossi debut on October 30 2001 and precisely 15 years later played a 0-0 draw away to Empoli.
“Unfortunately we’ve fallen behind the leaders again, but it’s a long season and I don’t feel I can reproach the team for anything today,” De Rossi told Sky Sport Italia and Mediaset Premium.
“Today we played fairly well and ran into an ex-teammate (goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski) who had a phenomenal game. We have to just accept the result.
“Perhaps we underestimated the difficulties, as on paper it seemed an easy enough match. Maybe we thought after the early saves that Skorupski couldn’t keep up that level for the whole game, but obviously we can’t just hope the goalkeeper makes a mistake.
“It’s not easy to play in Empoli, as they are very organised defensively and it would’ve changed if there had been a breakthrough. At times you just have to tip your hat to the opponent.”
De Rossi’s contract with Roma is due to expire at the end of the season and there were reports Juventus had approached him to move as a free agent, while MLS football is another more likely option.
“I have been at Roma for 15 years today and I am happy, thank you. I hope there are other targets to achieve and I am here heart and soul until that happens.
“I know nothing about the rest. Juventus have shown they buy the best players and can afford far better than me, so I doubt it’s true.
“I have not spoken to Roma about my future. Even if I should leave, I expect the club to maintain the same attitude. This club sooner or later has to win.
“We’ve got time to talk about the future and the economic aspect, if I wanted to or would remain, would be the least of the problems.”
De Rossi was shown a clip of former Italy Coach Antonio Conte speaking about the Euro 2016 experience and how they had formed a family.
“I can only thank Rudi Garcia, who took Roma on in a difficult moment and really helped me. I had seen I wasn’t playing as well and had several injuries, so it was a step up.
“The experience with Conte was so strong and seeing his interview brought a tear to my eye. He made me go back to believing I could be a player in a certain way and even physically I got proof I could still hack it at a certain level.
“Conte is a complicated person, loyal, difficult, clear like few others and on top of the emotions of that tournament I have the giant disappointment of not being able to play that last game with Germany.
“If we hadn’t created that astonishing group dynamic, I probably would’ve left the Nazionale after Euro 2016. The fact Conte is no longer there mustn’t change it for me, because I felt it my duty to carry on his work in the group.”