Everything today seems to be about the money. Businesses look for every way to maximize profits. Waiters hover over tables to move a meal along and flip the table. People choose careers based on the potential net earnings, not what makes them happy. Football clubs sell tickets at a premium and players move to clubs that can offer them the highest earnings.
It is rarer and rarer to see things done out of love and passion. That seems to be especially true in the world of football, the sport that has become a money making machine for all involved. That is until you look to a man we all hold close to our hearts: Daniele De Rossi.
Over the course of his career we saw De Rossi blossom from being the youngest member of Italy’s World Cup winning squad in 2006 to the heart and soul of our beloved AS Roma. In that time, De Rossi became regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world. He possessed all the qualities of an all around midfielder—vision, precise passing, a rocket of a shot, crunching tackling, hustle, and heart—one that would become the desire of so many clubs.
It was that heart that wouldn’t allow him to leave the Giallorossi. He could’ve gone to any European power for more money and a better chance to win a title. Yet, the kid from Ostia couldn’t pry himself away from his childhood club; famously saying that his only regret was to have just one career to give to Roma. Just like for Totti before him, the allure of Roma was too great.
Yet, love wasn’t enough to keep Roma from cutting ties with one of its own. Something that would’ve been unthinkable just a few years ago. When it happened, we were all shocked; knowing De Rossi still had the desire and ability left to give both on the pitch and off it. It was a move made with the bottom line in mind, not love or loyalty.
With a desire to keep playing, De Rossi had options on the table: he could remain in Italy with Fiorentina, among others; he could take millions from MLS club Los Angeles FC. Maybe go to Japan, or he could make a move that would be unthinkable for most European players; head to Argentina.
Unsurprisingly, De Rossi, a player who is all about passion and love, chose the latter. Just like in his prime when he decided to stay with the club he loves, De Rossi has chosen to move to a club that has always been alluring to him. The chance to play for Boca Juniors at the Bombonera was just too much for him to resist.
OFFICIAL: Boca Juniors confirm Roma and Italy legend Daniele de Rossi has arrived in Argentina to complete his move to the club pic.twitter.com/qzlqASRAAd— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 25, 2019
It is almost unthinkable to imagine many other former world class players, who don’t already have South American ties, moving to Argentina. Yet, De Rossi is doing just that. In his unique fashion, Capitano Futuro continues to make career choices from the heart rather than the wallet. That is something to be applauded in this day in age.
So, as much as it will be strange to see De Rossi in a shirt that is not giallorosso or azzurro, I am pleased that his next shirt will be that of a club like Boca. De Rossi has proven yet again that there are some who care about more than the money. In this moment, let’s celebrate De Rossi the man even more than the player. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be tuning into some of those Cops Libertadores matches and picking up that blue and gold #16 shirt.