Daniele De Rossi Will Leave Roma At End Of Season After 18 Years

AS Roma have today confirmed that legendary midfielder Daniele De Rossi will play his final game for the club next weekend, and I'm off for a big cry.

De Rossi, who has spent 18 seasons with I Giallorossi, has established himself as a club legend, making a total of 615 appearances down the years.

But the 35-year-old will look for challenges outside of Rome ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

Roma president Jim Pallotta announced the news on the club's website earlier today in an emotional statement:

"For 18 years, Daniele has been the beating heart of AS Roma's team." he wrote.

"From his debut in 2001 to taking on the responsibility of the captain's armband, he always represented the Roma fans on the pitch with pride as he established himself as one of the best midfielders in Europe.

"We will all shed tears when he pulls on the Giallorossi shirt for the last time against Parma but we respect his desire to prolong his playing career - even if, at almost 36, it will be away from Rome.

"On behalf of everyone at Roma, I'd like to thank Daniele for his incredible dedication to this club and ensure him that our doors will remain open for him to return to the club in a new role whenever he wants."

De Rossi is one of the few players left in the game to have dedicated their entire career to one club.

In this often materialistic and money-driven sport, players like De Rossi contradict the selfish stereotype of professional footballers. He has given us hope that loyalty is still very much a thing in modern-day football, and for that we thank him.

After making his debut under Fabio Capello on the 10th of October, 2001, the player has been very much a key figure for club and country down the years,

The Italian is still going strong at the tender age of 35, with his influence on the pitch proving invaluable for his club.

De Rossi's leadership qualities make him a perfect role model on the pitch and in a 2-1 win over Bologna earlier this year, the midfielder reminded us of his influence.

After being subbed on for striker Justin Kluivert in the 68th minute, teammate Alessandro Florenzi threw the captain's armband at the Italian.

De Rossi then offloaded the armband back to Florenzi, who started the game as captain, and in the meantime, it sent a strong message.

A true leader doesn't need a armband to show that he's the leader. He just is.

Get on with it.

Featured Image Credit: AS Roma

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

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