May 26, 2019, Daniele De Rossi's final match in a Roma shirt, will always remain a dark day for Roma fans. With their beloved captain reportedly willing to play another year on a pay-for-play basis, Roma's seldom seen leadership decided to (once again) give the cold shoulder to a local boy turned club captain turned icon. And just as we did with Francesco Totti two years prior, we played witness to the gut-wrenching site of Roma's heart and soul leaving the pitch in tears.
It wasn't a fitting end for either man, not when you consider all they contributed to Roma over their collective 40 years of service, but at least De Rossi had an out, as his long standing interest in Boca Juniors provided a softer landing spot for his post-Roma days than did Totti's awkward internship with Monchi.
De Rossi in any other shirt was always bound to be an awkward site, but at least the yellow and blue of Boca was his choice. It was hard to swallow, but many of us found solace in the fact that De Rossi followed his heart to Buenos Aires.
And with a goal in his very first appearance, it seemed like the final chapter of De Rossi's career would be a joyous one. Unfortunately, the fairly tale curtailed rather quickly as De Rossi has dealt with a spate of injuries since moving to Argentina, managing only seven appearances for Boca since making the switch over the summer.
With his legs failing him and a change in the Boca Juniors leadership, rumors of a Roma reunion soon followed; rumors Boca shot down repeatedly, reminding the world that De Rossi had a year-long contract with the Buenos Aires outfit.
Yeah, about that...
According to Gianluca Di Marzio, with his injuries mounting and his place not quite as secure under Boca's new leadership, De Rossi has decided to retire, leaving Boca and his playing days in one fell swoop. While De Rossi's exact whereabouts at the moment are unknown, he is expected back in Italy soon, where he will then decide his future, which will presumably see him take up coaching.
Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but given how short his stay in Boca was, it would have been great had Roma been the final chapter of his career, but we certainly can't fault him for making the best of a bad situation. Roma had no room for him, so he followed his heart, and that takes a lot of courage—something De Rossi has never lacked.
All we can do now is wait and see what he does next, but for the first time in his professional life, Daniele De Rossi has the benefit of time.
Daniele De Rossi has confirmed he is indeed retiring, while refuting the claim that injuries were to blame.
Per De Rossi (loosely translated via Google):
It was a decision that, I should clarify, is not linked to health or family problems, I read what was written on social media. I have to get closer to my daughter, only this, there is no There is no other reason, if I was 25 I would have decided differently, but this is no problem with the new management, I had the pleasure of working with them only 2 days but they tried to convince me to stay, but my decision is final and they have accompanied me in the best way at this moment. I have said since the first day that the decision was final, they asked me for time, I think I am the first player to withdraw after the medical visits (laughs, editor’s note), but I trained with my teammates and the new staff, I didn’t have any problems.