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Former Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi retires from football at age of 36

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Former Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi retires from football at age of 36
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The veteran had spent 18 seasons with Roma.

Now he has decided to cut short his Boca Juniors spell.

Former Italy international Daniele De Rossi has decided to leave Boca Juniors and retire from professional football. Boca snapped up De Rossi on a free transfer in July after the expiration of his contract with Roma, whose first team he played for across 18 seasons. The 36-year-old midfielder made a goalscoring debut for the Buenos Aires giants in a Copa Argentina victory over Almagro but only made six further appearances. However, he has now cancelled his contract with the Argentine club and will return to Italy to be closer to his family.

De Rossi made 616 appearances for Roma, a tally only bettered by club legend Francesco Totti,  and 117 for Italy, winning the World Cup in 2006. Explaining his decision at a news conference on Monday, the veteran said: “No one in my family has health problems. I want to clarify that for the things that were said on social media. I just need to be with my daughter, my family. That is the only thing, I think it is a valid reason at this age. I am 36 years old and I think that, maybe at 25, it would have been different.

“I had no problem with the executives or with [Boca vice president Juan Roman] Riquelme or with anyone. They treated me with love; they understood my decision. When I informed them, they asked me to take a couple of days to think about it, but I had already made the decision. Not only did I say goodbye to a club that entered my heart, I said goodbye to a sport that was my job, my passion. It was something that was going to happen soon, not something that was going to happen in 10 years.”

De Rossi came through the youth ranks at Roma and made his debut for the Serie A side in 2001. In an 18-year stay with the Giallorossi, the midfielder made 616 appearances and scored 63 goals, winning two Coppa Italia titles. Following the retirement of club legend Francesco Totti in 2017, De Rossi assumed the captaincy of his hometown club.

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