We’re only, what, three days out from the end of the Serie A season and we’re already getting inundated with transfer rumors of all sorts. From Antonio Rüdiger reportedly accepting a move to Inter (wait, they don’t even have a coach!) to Wojciech Szczesny being courted by Juventus, it seems as though the vultures are ready to pick at Roma’s carcass. However, lest you think it’s all doom and gloom, two Roma stalwarts have reaffirmed their commitment to Roma, one in fact the other in spirit.
First up, Radja Nainggolan. As if professing his open hatred for Juventus this past season wasn’t enough to endear him further to a fanbase frothing for a new icon, Nainggolan once again confirmed his commitment to AS Roma, putting Inter, Chelsea and whomever else would come sniffing for his services on notice.
But that’s not our lead story today, my friends. Daniele De Rossi, the former capitano futuro, is now the capitano full stop. Following the “retirement’ (we will never not use quotes around that) of Francesco Totti, De Rossi will assume the mantle he’s been promised for over a decade now—fully and completely assuming the Roma captainship.
With his contract set to expire at the end of June, it appeared as though Roma fans were going to be dealt a double body blow, losing their two favorite sons in quick succession.
However, as you’re no doubt aware by now, De Rossi has signed a new two-year contract with Roma, keeping him in town through 2019. While no financial terms of the deal were released, De Rossi will have spent nearly 20 years with the club when this deal expires on June 30, 2019.
On the deal, De Rossi was rather tongue in cheek:
Well, the papers have ruined the surprise a bit so I guess everyone knows, but we’re here – dressed like this – because I have renewed my contract. It was already in the air and we’ve been discussing it for a while, especially in the last month. Today was the best day for it seeing as we’re all going away later
I signed it today but it’s been done for a few days. I requested that it wasn’t mentioned on Sunday because that was a day dedicated to another person, to another player, to a story that was coming to an end – although it will never really end. We wanted it to be announced afterwards or in advance. The agreement was already there but we signed it today because people have to head off and I’m going away on international duty
For almost all the Roma fans it would have been a shame to lose both me and Francesco together,” De Rossi said in an interview on the club’s official Facebook page.
It would have been undeserved. I’ll live this profession with passion and I think I’m a worthy successor to Francesco in terms of feeling.
My role changes very little, since I was the oldest after him, and I won’t have specific tasks to do next season.His absence will be hard for all of us, and we have to turn those tears into something that can help us
Take away the fact that De Rossi is still playing at a high level, but the emotional blow of losing Totti and De Rossi in the same week would have been too much to bear. While his role on the pitch won’t change, De Rossi is now tasked with being the face of the franchise as it were, the one to whom the whole of Roma will rally.
If his tears on Sunday didn’t clue you in, there aren’t many people on this earth who love the club and all it stand for more than De Rossi. Roma remains in good hands, and we’ll have two more season to enjoy De Rossi’s unbridled enthusiasm and unrestrained grinta.
Congratulations, capitano, you’ve earned it.