De Rossi keeping MLS door open but won’t leave Roma as ‘scum’

Daniele De Rossi is keeping the door open for a future MLS move, but the long-serving Roma midfielder is finding it difficult to tear himself away from his hometown team.

The 35-year-old, like Francesco Totti before him, has emerged through an academy system in the Italian capital to be a one-club man.

Seventeen years of loyal service have delivered close to 600 appearances, despite the World Cup winner having had opportunities to leave in the past.

It could be that a switch is secured at some stage, with America or Argentina appealing to the no-nonsense midfielder, but he is eager to avoid tarnishing his image in the eyes of fellow Roma fans.

De Rossi told Il Romanista: “I don’t want to leave the fans with bad memories of my performances.

“I wouldn’t feel bad about leaving Roma at the age of 35 and having two years in America. I would’ve felt like scum if I had left two years ago to join another Italian club, though.

“I do want to experience America, but I can do it as a player or on vacation, which I already did this summer. Similarly, I can experience Boca Juniors as a fan in the stands or on the pitch.

“There will be a final game. There has to be. That day when Francesco Totti retired, I thought: ‘Sooner or later, it’ll be my turn too’. I saw him really struggle, it was tough.

“That whole day was very Romanista: strong emotions, touching, deeply felt, but it had to be. It’s tough seeing your friend who you see as a player every day and suddenly he isn’t in that locker room anymore.”

Daniele De Rossi Roma property

De Rossi has been heavily linked with MLS sides for some time, but no deal has been done as a man who committed to a new two-year contract in May 2017 considers himself to be “the property of Roma fans”.

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He added: “Do you know what it means to be a symbol of Roma? It is an enormous responsibility that you always carry on your shoulders. It means you have no choice.

“When in the past I had offers or we were on the verge of bankruptcy or when things weren’t going well, when someone calls it isn’t you that replies, because I am Roma in the sense that I am property of Roma, of the fans of Roma.

“I, Daniele De Rossi, am the property of the Roma fans.”

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