AS Roma midfield gladiator and legend Daniele de Rossi announced earlier this month that this season will be his final season at his boyhood club. De Rossi has been a tireless and greed less servant of the club, shunting down big money moves to a whole host of European super clubs to stay loyal to his fans and his one love - AS Roma.
De Rossi has dedicated over 45,000 minutes of his life playing professional football for the club and almost five times that number training to be worthy of those minutes. He has made 458 Serie A appearances, lining up for the famous European night 98 times. These 98 times include the famous revival against FC Barcelona, with De Rossi converting the penalty to cut the deficit to just one goal.
Ahead of his final game for the club, De Rossi penned a heart-felt goodbye letter, thanking everyone from the club to the fans for his journey as their player and captain. Here is his farewell in his words:
“Please, let me say thank you to everyone at Roma that I came to know:
The Sensi family, and President Pallotta. All the women and men that have worked, and continue to work, at Trigoria. The coaches that shaped me; all of them – without exception - taught me something important.
The medical staff that always took care of me; and Damiano, without whom I would certainly have made fewer appearances for this club. My teammates, the part of the job I always enjoyed the most – they are my family. That daily routine, those times in the changing room at Trigoria, will be the thing I miss most of all.
Bruno, who saw something special in me and brought me into this club’s fantastic academy. It was there, one morning in August, that I first met Simone and Mancio – we have been friends ever since, and will be for the rest of our lives.
Thank you Davide, I know you will be alongside me for the rest of my life too.
Thank you to Francesco. The captain’s armband I wore was inherited from the arm of a brother, a great captain and the most incredible footballer I have ever seen wear this shirt. Not everyone gets to play alongside their idol for 16 years. Now, with respect, I will pass this armband on to Alessandro. Another brother, one that I know is equally worthy of the honour.
Thank you to mum and dad, for instilling in me two values that I have carried with me every single day: to never do to someone else something you would not want them to do to you, and to always offer a hand to those in trouble.
Thank you to Ostia; to its people and its coast. You helped raise me as a child, you spurred me on as a teenager, and you welcomed me back as an adult.
Thank you also to those who supported me - and suffered with me - within the walls of our home: without Gaia, Olivia, Noah and especially Sarah I would be half the man I am today.
Thank you to every Roma fan, my fans. Today, at least, I’ll allow myself to call you ‘my fans’ – because I was one of you, out there on the pitch, and the love you have always shown me helped me to keep on doing that. You are all the reason why I chose this city, this life, time and time again. Sunday will be the 616th time I make that choice, the right choice.
No-one will ever love you more than I do.”