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May 15, 2019

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18 years on De Rossi to leave Roma

Combative AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi will end his playing career after 18 years at the Serie A club during which he made 615 appearances and scored 63 goals in all competitions.

The club confirmed in a statement that Roma’s final game of the season — at home to Parma — would be De Rossi’s last for the club he joined as a teenager in 2000.

Roma chief executive Guido Fienga said the club only informed De Rossi on Monday of its decision not to renew his contract. “I apologized to Daniele, on behalf of the club, for not speaking to him sooner — it has been a problematic season,” Fienga told a news conference.

“The club is aware of the mistakes we’ve made, and we are reflecting on that. But we appreciate the way Daniele has accepted the decision.”

Fienga offered him a director’s role at Roma but the former Italy international has decided to extend his playing career.

“I’m almost 36 and I know how football is, but I didn’t want to distract from our European (qualification) race,” De Rossi told reporters. “I thank the directors for their offer — I respect it and appreciate it, but I still feel like a player.”

De Rossi won two Coppa Italia titles with Roma in 2007 and 2008, although the nearest he came to a Serie A crown was in 2010 when Roma led the table with four games to go but was overhauled by Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan. He took over the captain’s armband from club legend Francesco Totti — the one player ahead of him for Roma appearances — in 2017.


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