De Rossi, ‘beat­ing heart’ of Roma, to leave

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Sport - Agen­cies sports­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com n

Cap­tain Daniele De Rossi will bring the cur­tain down on his 18-year ca­reer with Roma at the end of the sea­son, the Serie A side an­nounced on Tues­day.

The 35-year-old for­mer World Cup win­ning mid­fielder will play his fi­nal game at home against Parma on May 26, but will not be re­tir­ing from pro­fes­sional foot­ball. “(De Rossi) plans to pur­sue a new ad­ven­ture away from Rome,” the club said in a state­ment. “It will be the end of an era.”

The game could be a cru­cial one for Roma’s Cham­pi­ons League am­bi­tions next sea­son as last year’s Euro­pean semi-fi­nal­ists are sixth in Serie A just one point off fourth place with two games to play.

De Rossi has spent his en­tire se­nior ca­reer with his home town team com­ing through the club’s academy sys­tem.

“For 18 years, Daniele has been the beat­ing heart of AS Roma’s team,” said club pres­i­dent Jim Pal­lotta said.

“We will all shed tears when he pulls on the Gial­lorossi shirt for the last time against Parma but we re­spect his de­sire to pro­long his play­ing ca­reer—even if, at al­most 36, it will be away from Rome. On be­half of ev­ery­one at Roma, I’d like to thank Daniele for his in­cred­i­ble ded­i­ca­tion to this club and en­sure him that our doors will re­main open for him to re­turn to the club in a new role when­ever he wants.”

Rossi made 615 ap­pear­ances and scored 63 goals for Roma in all com­pe­ti­tions win­ning the Coppa Italia in 2007 and 2008, and the Su­per­coppa in 2007. He took over the cap­tain’s arm­band from club leg­end Francesco Totti— the one player ahead of him for Roma ap­pear­ances—in 2017.

He is also the fourth-most capped player for the Italian na­tional team with 117 ap­pear­ances.

The 2006 World Cup win­ner re­tired af­ter Italy failed to qual­ify for last year’s World Cup, miss­ing the tour­na­ment for the first time in 60 years.

IN­TER MI­LAN ON BRINK OF CHAM­PI­ONS LEAGUE

Mat­teo Poli­tano and Ivan Perisic scored in ei­ther half as In­ter Mi­lan re­claimed third spot in Serie A on Mon­day with a 2-0 win over al­ready-rel­e­gated Chievo to close in on Cham­pi­ons League next sea­son.

Poli­tano opened af­ter 39 min­utes at the San Siro with Perisic adding the sec­ond four min­utes from time, as Chievo played the last 15 min­utes a man down af­ter Ni­cola Rigoni was sent off for a sec­ond yel­low card.

In­ter move back one point ahead of Ata­lanta as both teams edge closer to join­ing cham­pi­ons Ju­ven­tus and sec­ond-placed Napoli in elite Euro­pean foot­ball with two games left this sea­son.

AC Mi­lan and Roma are three points adrift of fourth place, with fur­ther back Torino in sev­enth, five points out­side the Cham­pi­ons League berths. In­ter could seal their place with a win next Sun­day at Napoli or at home against lowly Em­poli on the fi­nal day of the sea­son the fol­low­ing week­end. In­ter’s win ended Lazio’s Cham­pi­ons League am­bi­tions with the Ro­mans in eighth with a slim hope of mak­ing the Europa League.

AP

Roma cap­tain Daniele De Rossi will leave the club af­ter 18 years.

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