If you can divorce yourself from the fact that we're talking about multi-million dollar athletes here, then it's not that hard to sympathize with Daniele De Rossi. Imagine dedicating nearly your entire life to one pursuit, doing it as well as nearly anyone in the world, and then having your job stripped away from you through no fault of your own. Can you imagine the sense of loss, the struggle to form a new identity? If so, then you can imagine what it's been like for Daniele De Rossi to navigate his post-Roma career.
In the initial wake of his “retirement” from Roma, De Rossi's options ran the gamut: He had an offer to coach with Italy at the youth ranks, Bologna was interested in bringing him aboard, City supposedly gave him a cursory glance, both Los Angeles teams wanted him, while Fiorentina reportedly came as close as anyone to tempting De Rossi. But then, in the wake of all those rumors, De Rossi was reportedly prepared to chuck it all and just enjoy his “retirement”; the prospect of uprooting his young family seemed too daunting for De Rossi, or so the rumor went.
As you can see, it seems as though De Rossi has had a change of heart. According to Sky Sport, De Rossi has finally acquiesced to Nicolas Burdisso's surreptitious courting of his former teammate, reportedly accepting a short-term move to Boca Juniors. Argentinian site TN.com takes it a step further, indicating that De Rossi will fly to Buenos Aires this weekend to wrap up the deal, while still other sites claim De Rossi is already in Argentina.
For De Rossi, while the move is a step down in competition, he gets to play in the world famous La Bombanera, home to some of the most raucous crowds in the game, fulfilling a supposed lifelong ambition. For Boca, beyond the positive PR this is bound to engender, De Rossi will fill the shoes of the soon to depart Nahitan Nandez, who seems headed for Cagliari.
While it will still be gutting to see De Rossi wear another shirt, we can at least be happy he's going where he wants and making the best of a bad situation, and as a Boca fan, you can rest assured I'll be getting his new shirt.
Buena Suerte, Daniele. You've earned it!