When it comes to who the best and most beloved figure in AS Roma history is, there is really no debate: it's Francesco Totti, plain and simple. While there may be some dispute about who follows Totti on that list, Daniele De Rossi is generally regarded as the Giallorossi's second-most celebrated son. While he can't quite match Totti's résumé on the pitch, there is one area in which De Rossi bests Totti: his familial bonds to the club. Between DDR's time on the pitch and his father Alberto's stint leading the club's Primavera side, the De Rossi family has dedicated nearly 50 years of their lives to the Giallorossi.
While Daniele De Rossi's Roma career came to a bittersweet end following the conclusion of the 2018-2019 season, his father's legendary tenure as Primavera manager continued through the hellscape we call the 2020s. Despite a sterling record that features three Scudetti, two Coppa Italias, and two Italian Supercups, the elder De Rossi's future in that role has become the subject of debate over the past 18 months
A club's Primavera manager is typically pretty low on the list of fan stressors, but the mere thought of losing ADR gave many of us unexpected bouts of anxiety. Alberto may not be as immediately recognizable as his legendary son, but a Roma without any De Rossis just wouldn’t feel the same. And that anxiety reached near-crisis levels when the club found his replacement: former Teramo and Fiorentina youth manager Federico Guidi.
But don't go sending any angry letters to Trigoria just yet:
In a surprising twist, the club officially unveiled De Rossi as the club's new Head of Youth Coach Development, an advisory/supervisory position in which De Rossi will work with coaches at the U-15 to U-18 levels, helping to develop some of the organizations youngest players (and coaches).
On his new gig, De Rossi expressed his gratitude and excitement for his new, big-picture role:
I am delighted to be able to continue my working relationship with this club, a relationship I consider to be unique and deeply felt.
I immediately felt energised by the vision that was laid out to me by Vincenzo Vergine and the club, and I cannot wait to put my experience at the service of all of the coaches of age groups throughout Roma’s youth sector.
Head of Youth Development Vincenzo Vergine didn't mince words when asked how crucial ADR was to Roma's entire youth system:
Given the project we are pursuing, there is no way we could deprive ourselves of the extraordinary professional experience and skills Alberto De Rossi has,
I am certain that his wealth of knowledge, both in coaching and people management, will be hugely significant in the continuing growth and development of our coaches – something I consider to be a vital resource that we must ensure we are always investing in.
I would like to offer Alberto my very best wishes for his new challenge; I also feel it is my duty to sincerely thank him, on behalf of the club, for the incredible contribution he has made to Roma throughout his career as a coach.
While the official announcement was a little light on job specifics, I think we can safely assume De Rossi will have a hand in developing and guiding the organization's entire youth setup, working with coaches to create a systematic approach to youth development, a Roma Way, if you will.
Congrats, Alberto...now, keep an eye on that Cristian Totti kid, will ya?