Daniele De Rossi retires as a player

The Boca Juniors midfielder and Italian World Champion from 2006 announced his decision in a press conference yesterday

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Daniele De Rossi retires as a player

“The decision to retire as a player has been a very difficult one for me, but I want to stay in the world of football and start coaching instead.” With these words in yesterday’s press conference, Boca Juniors midfielder and Roma and Azzurri icon Daniele De Rossi announced his decision to hang up his boots. Now thirty-six years old, Daniele made 117 Azzurri appearances over his career, scoring 21 goals as well as winning both the 2006 World Cup and the U21 European Championship back in 2004. 


Daniele De Rossi was born in Rome on 24 July 1983 and would go on to become a midfielder at the heart of both Roma and Azzurri history. A product of the Giallorossi youth academy, he made his professional debut with his boyhood club aged just 18 in a Champions League match against Anderlecht (1-1), making three further appearances in the Coppa Italia that season. Originally an attacking midfielder in the youth teams, playing under Fabio Capello he soon established himself as one of the strongest central midfielders in world football. Gifted with a thunderous longshot and great heading ability, De Rossi found his best form playing under Luciano Spalletti at Roma: the midfielder from Ostia won two Coppe Italia and one Italian Super Cup with the Giallorossi between 2006 and 2008. Often compared to the English Gerrard and Lampard, legends of Liverpool and Chelsea respectively, he ranks third in the record for most Serie A appearances in Roma’s history after Francesco Totti and Giacomo Losi. Nicknamed Captain Futuro by the fans, he was long considered as one of the best midfielders in the world. After 18 seasons with his boyhood club, his time with the Giallorossi came to an end in May 2019 as he moved to Boca Juniors, a club of which Daniele had always declared himself a fan. His Argentinian adventure lasted only a few months, the Italian making seven appearances and scoring one goal in the final chapter of his playing days.

U21 European Champion in 2004 and winner of a bronze medal at the Olympics in the same year, De Rossi marked his senior national debut with a goal, aged 21 as he played a part in Italy’s 2-1 triumph over Norway in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers. He became a World Champion in Germany in 2006, scoring his penalty to help win the trophy in the final against France. He was also part of the Italy side who finished second at EURO 2012, being named in UEFA’s Team of the Tournament, while the following year his Italy came third at the Confederations Cup in Brazil. His final major international tournament came in EURO 2016, a veteran in the squad knocked out in the quarter-finals. Having played a part in every international competition since 2006, with 21 goals from his 117 appearances in an Azzurri shirt, De Rossi is the most prolific midfielder in Italian National Team history.