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May 14, 2019, 1:49:00 PM

Roma legend Daniele De Rossi to leave Italian giants

Roma captain Daniele De Rossi will leave the Italian club in the summer after not being offered a new contract at the age of 35.

Cult hero De Rossi has made 615 appearances and scored 63 goals across two decades with Roma, but he will leave the club this summer to join a different league.

De Rossi, who also has 117 caps for Italy, said he was disappointed in the decision but would still support Roma in the stands as a fan.

He said: “I realised the decision the club were going to take regarding myself. I'm almost 36 and I know how football is, but I didn't want to distract from our European race.

“I don't agree that the decision should have been mine alone. The club exist to make these sort of decisions, alongside the coaches. Someone has to make that ultimate call.

“I'm not over the moon, but I accept the decision. I have no resentment towards that. We never spoke about money: that was not the crux of the matter.

“Eventually I would like to be a coach. At this point I don't see myself becoming a director, but at Roma a role like that would have some meaning.

“I've always loved Roma. My advice to the fans is to back this squad: they are a good group, who deserve respect.

“Roma and I chose each other. There is a lot of love between us, both now and in the future - even if it will be in another form.

“Don't bet against seeing me in with the fans at a few away games, having a sandwich and a beer and cheering on my friends.

“Looking back, some specific moments I would change. But overall, I wouldn't change anything about staying loyal to this team.

“If I had a magic wand, I would have put a few more trophies on the mantelpiece,” he added.

Words: Jake Evans

Images: PA