Start of a new chapter: Daniele De Rossi joins Boca Juniors
Being a homegrown player to a football club is a special feeling. Idolizing the team, you grew up watching and loving. Becoming a part of that team is a greater feeling for anyone. Daniele De Rossi was one of the fortunate people who was able to fulfill that dream. The Roma player was born on July 23, 1983 in Rome, Italy. De Rossi followed in the footsteps of his father, Alberto De Rossi, who was also a player of AS Roma and the current coach of the Primavera team, going through the youth ranks.
De Rossi started as a defender or sweeper, went to a false attacking midfielder, and then established himself as permanent player of the squad. The midfielder excelled in the youth system and his first-team debut came in 2001, when he was just 18 years old. Since that time, he went on to be a part of Roma’s first team for 18 years, establishing himself as one of the best midfielders ever to play for the club.
In his 18-year playing career with Roma, De Rossi established himself as a leader of the club. He had the ability to break down the opposition’s plays, establishing himself as a skilled box to box player. The Roman was very versatile, tactically intelligent and able to play various positions in the midfield. He was never scared of his opponents and would always challenge them fearlessly. Most fans and media would go on to remember him as Capitan Futuro which means Future Captain in Italian.
Due to the dedication and leadership he left on the pitch, most fans and media envisioned the homegrown player to take over as captain of the club once Francesco Totti retired. At the start of 2017-2018 campaign, De Rossi took this reign and became the captain of the club.
Through his time with Roma, De Rossi had opportunities to leave the club. In 2012, Manchester City offered the Roman a salary increase to join their club. At the time of the offer, the team was managed by Robert Mancini and were the English Premiere League Champions. Although this could have been enticing for De Rossi, his only interest in this offer was the opportunity to meet English rock band Oasis. It was the band he grew up listening to and loving. Its funny that there may be other factors that would entice a player to join a new team. The Roman did not accept Manchester City’s offer and stayed with Roma because of his affection and love for the fans and team.
Staying with Roma was a great decision, as the homegrown player had two successful careers through his journey, playing for Roma as well as the Italian National Team. With Roma, he won two Coppa Italias, both in 2007 and 2008 and a SuperCoppa Italia in 2007. He didn’t leave Roma fans empty-handed which is great for fans. The greatest achievement of his 18-year career came in 2006, as he won the World Cup with his teammates from the Azzurri. He went on to be one of the most important players of that squad.
On May 14, 2019, Roma announced that they would not renew De Rossi’s contract and that he would not be returning for the 2019-2020 campaign. This was news that fans didn’t expect to hear and left them shocked, sad and puzzled as many expected the Romanista to finish his career as a Roma player. As a soccer fan, it would have been nice to see De Rossi finish what he started and it’s unfortunate he won’t be able to fulfill this. Even if the club didn’t use him regularly on the pitch, his leadership would have been great to pass on to the youth players. This will not happen as De Rossi decided to go to the next chapter of his illustrious career.
When he found out that Roma wouldn’t be renewing his contract, he initially thought of retiring from the game. It was rumoured that he would be playing with other teams in Serie A, however, De Rossi declined to play in Italy as he couldn’t bare to play Roma. He finally made his decision as Boca Juniors confirmed that Daniele De Rossi will be joining the Argentinian club.
De Rossi will encounter a new lifestyle with his new league and a different style of play. The long time Roman player shouldn’t have a hard time adjusting and fit in perfectly. Before he starts the next chapter in his amazing career, let’s not forget that when he hangs up the boots, his blood line is always Roma. We hope that one day he will return to Roma in any role within the club. So, thank you Daniele De Rossi, you will always be our Capitano.
By: Jerry Mancini
Photo: Sky Sports