Daniele de Rossi

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De Rossi scores debut goal but Boca Juniors upset in Copa Argentina

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Daniele De Rossi played his first match in colors other than Roma yellow and red, and while he bagged a goal on debut, he was powerless to prevent an embarrassing Copa Argentina loss as Boca Juniors was upset by second tier side Almagro on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Just before the half-hour mark, a corner delivery found the head of De Rossi and he had a signature moment in South America. His close-range effort proved Boca’s only meaningful contribution of the night, but it produced an enormous smile across the face of the bearded Italian before he was engulfed by teammates and appeared somewhat emotional.

Sadly for the Argentine giants, they looked poor overall, and once De Rossi exited the pitch in the 72nd minute, he could only watch from the sidelines as 33-year-old former Real Salt Lake winger Juan Manuel Martinez equalized in the 82nd minute, sending the match to penalties. Boca Juniors was abysmal in the penalty shootout, and while Carlos Tevez scored the first effort, they missed their next three and the Primera Nacional side advanced to the Round of 16.

The result is bad news for new manager Gustavo Alfaro who only took over in January and is tasked with defending the club’s Copa Libertadores title. The quarterfinals of this year’s competition is just around the corner, and the squad must pick itself up quickly in the absence of recently departed Dario Benedetto and Nahitan Nandez who both bolted for European clubs this transfer window.

VIDEO: Daniele De Rossi greeted by raucous Boca fans upon arrival

Photo credit: Boca Juniors
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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Boca Juniors has announced the signing of former Roma captain and 2006 World Cup winner Daniele De Rossi in a one-year deal.

The Argentinian club used social media Thursday to confirm the move with a video of 36-year-old Italian midfielder wearing the team’s shirt.

De Rossi had a medical at a private clinic in Buenos Aires and visited the club’s historic La Bombonera stadium.

The Italian played at Roma from 2001 to May of this year.

De Rossi was one of the scorers in the World Cup final penalty shootout against France that gave Italy its fourth World Cup title. He has also won two Italian Cups with Roma in 2007 and 2008.

De Rossi’s official presentation as a Boca player will be on Monday.

Reports: De Rossi heads to Argentina to sign for Boca Juniors

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According to reports in both Italy and Argentina, Roma legend Daniele de Rossi, who left the Italian club this summer at the age of 35, is heading to Argentina to finalize a deal to play for Boca Juniors.

The reports state that De Rossi will sign a one-year contract worth $560,000.

The Roma youth product has spent his entire career with the Serie A side, making 616 career appearances for Roma across all competitions and scoring 63 goals.

There was rumored interest from MLS in the 35-year-old, with NYCFC the most frequently named club, but it seems that interest never seriously took off. De Rossi also reportedly had an offer to coach in the Italian youth ranks and interest from fellow Italian clubs Bologna and Fiorentina.

At Boca, he will look to return the club to the top of the Argentine Primera Division where they stood two seasons ago before dropping to third last campaign.

Roma boss pens vivid 3,000-word open letter to fans

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Some fan bases probably wish their owner was as open as AS Roma’s James Pallotta, who has written a few thousand words on the struggles of i Lupi this season.

We can’t attest to how Roma’s supporters feel about Friday’s open letter, but neutrals will at the very least find entertainment in the American billionaire’s strong stance, vivid descriptions, and occasional NSFW language.

[ MORE: 3 key battles in UCL Final ]

Oh, and his defiance, via ASRoma.com:

“I understand the history of almost 3,000 years of Rome and I know how this works. If people think they’re going to drive me out, it’s just not going to happen.”

Pallotta has made no secret of his displeasure with Roma’s season, as the club finished sixth in Serie A and bowed out of the Champions League in the Round of 16.

That’s a far cry from last season, in which Roma came within one goal of stunning Liverpool in the UCL semifinal second leg and steadily rose up the table after a slow start.

This season saw the firing of the manager who engineered that rise, a sloppy handling of the end of club legend Daniele De Rossi’s tenure, and the maddening but necessary departure of a sporting director who Pallotta later claimed “had no Plan B.”

Pallotta, to his credit, is owning it. He’s putting plenty of blame on Monchi — now sporting director of Sevilla — who he brands “a mistake” without explicitly naming him, even in the removal of Di Francesco later in the season.

When things were going sideways, Di Francesco told us he may have lost the dressing room and if we think it’s time for him to go, then he will go without a fight. Di Francesco has always been first-class. He is a true gentleman. He was clearly put in what I think was a tough position this past year and was collateral damage. That’s something that we all regret.

Roma is without a manager now, but all is not lost; Roma finished three points out of third and scored the fourth-most goals in the league. It’s aging roster would look a lot better if Cenzig Under, Nicolo Zaniolo, and Justin Kluivert took the next steps in their development, which makes the next choice as manager even more crucial to the short-, medium- and long-term.

De Rossi pens emotional farewell to Roma fans before final match

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After 18 years with the club, Daniele de Rossi is playing in his final AS Roma match on Sunday before his contract expires.

Ahead of the game, the 35-year-old midfielder wrote a detailed thank you to fans, team employees, and teammates before his sendoff. “Please, let me say thank you to everyone at Roma that I came to know,” he said before beginning his list of appreciation.

First, Rossi credited his playing mentor Damiano Tommasi, who was at the club from 1996-2006 and made 262 appearances for Roma. The midfielder suffered a knee injury in 2004 which saw Rossi break into the team full-time after making his professional debut in 2002. “[to] Damiano, without whom I would certainly have made fewer appearances for this club,” de Rossi wrote.

He also thanks former captain Francesco Totti by saying, “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 [Florenzi]. Another brother, one that I know is equally worthy of the honor.”

De Rossi mentions Davide Astori, the Fiorentina player who passed away tragically in March of last year, saying, “Thank you Davide, I know you will be alongside me for the rest of my life too.” He also thanks Roma academy director Bruno Conti, saying, “[to] Bruno, who saw something special in me and brought me into this club’s fantastic academy.”

Finally, he thanks the Roma supporters, saying, “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.”

The emotion poured out in the final paragraph of his letter, referencing a tough time in Roma history where the club finished outside the top four for the third straight season and lost in the Coppa Italia final to Lazio. “A few years ago, May 26 became a day where we all thought we would never be able to smile again. I thought that too, at least until I saw a tattoo one fan had inked that read, ’27 May 2013, and yet the wind continues to blow’. I don’t know the owner of that particular tattoo, but I do know that the wind will still blow again on this May 27. I have never felt your affection like I have done in these last few days, it has truly overwhelmed me and touched me to my core.”

“Never have I seen you all united for a cause like you have been for this. But now, the greatest gift you can possibly give me is to leave that pain and anger to one side, and start again in full support of the only thing we all care about, the one thing that comes before everyone and everything – Roma.”

What a legend this man is. Roma sure knows how to produce a type of player not seen much around the rest of the world.