As I sit down to write this, the sun has barely come up in my corner of the world, and is my custom when waking up, I usually check in with the usual Roma sources to see if anything interesting transpired in Italy while I was sleeping. Suffice it to say, I was just struck by a lightning bolt, and not those ugly ones that will adorn Roma's kits next season. Nope, I'm afraid the news we just saw is no laughing matter at all.
Almost 18 years after a fresh-faced local teenager named Daniele De Rossi made his #ASRoma debut against Anderlecht, the 35-year-old club captain will pull on the Giallorossi shirt for the final time against Parma.— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 14, 2019
It will be the end of an era.
All season long we operated under the assumption that the club would extend De Rossi's contract for at least one more season; if not out of loyalty then simply because, you know, he can still play pretty damn well. However, with each passing rumor never reaching reality, the suspicion began to sink in.
They couldn't do this again, could they? They wouldn't dare treat another club legend so flippantly, would they?
They did. Per the official release, De Rossi is not retiring, he is pursuing a "new adventure away from Rome.”
On the second club legend and only reason Roma have been relevant over the past 20 years, club president James Pallotta was quick to praise the club's current captain and loyal servant of nearly 20 years:
For 18 years, Daniele has been the beating heart of AS Roma’s team
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.
Given that he's an absentee owner and barely knows the sport, Pallotta probably had Wikipedia open while he was writing that.
I'm going to stop now because I'm fucking pissed off. We'll try and contextualize this and pay proper tribute to De Rossi once the dust has settled, and while I can't speak for any of you, this is the last straw for me.
The Roma I knew and loved is no more.