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Daniele De Rossi has left Boca Juniors and officially retired from football

Daniele De Rossi played for AS Roma for 18 long years, making 600+ appearances for the club and winning the Coppa Italia twice. For Italy, he won the 2006 World Cup in his national colours.

Daniele De Rossi, Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winner and AS Roma legend, announced his retirement from football on Monday, after spending just six months at his new club, the Argentine giants Boca Juniors.

De Rossi started his professional career way back in 2001 for his boyhood club AS Roma and went on to make 600+ appearances for the Giallorossi in his 18 years there. He moved to Boca Juniors in the summer and played just seven matches since then.

“I need to go home. I’m leaving Boca and football,” said the 36-year-old former Italy and Roma midfielder.

“I’m leaving a club that has entered my heart, this sport, my passion.” De Rossi, who suffered several injuries during his time in Argentina, insisted that he has “no serious health problems” but merely felt “the need to be closer to my family, to my daughter. I miss them and they miss me”.

De Rossi entered the history books in Italian lore after winning the World Cup in national colours in 2006 alongside his Roma teammate Francesco Totti. He played 117 times for Italy from 2004 to 2017, and remained an astute vocal leader on and off the pitch throughout his career.

“I’m going to continue working in football in Italy, I don’t know in what role,” he said. “Here we’re very far away, it’s hard to connect with people (back home) on a day to day basis. I’m going to stay in Rome or cities close by.”

When he left Roma last May, De Rossi said he wanted to continue playing.

Upon joining the Argentines he added, “I couldn’t end my career without playing for Boca.” De Rossi’s signing was organized by his former Roma teammate Nicolas Burdisso, who was then the Boca sporting director. But Burdisso has since been replaced by Boca legend Juan Roman Riquelme.

De Rossi, though, insisted he had no problems with the new management. He said his 14-year-old daughter was “the only one who stayed in Italy and she needs her father to be close by.

“She’s not in danger in any way but I need to be there,” he concluded.

With Roma, De Rossi has won the Coppa Italia twice in 2007 and 2008, and the 2007 Supercoppa Italiana. After Totti’s retirement, he inherited the captaincy of Roma at the start of the 2017–18 season, and guided his team to the Champions League semi-final for the first time in the Champions League era, after a dramatic comeback against Barcelona.

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