Daniele De Rossi departs Boca Juniors and announces retirement

It was one of the stories of 2019 yet Daniele De Rossi’s move to Boca Juniors never really got off the ground and on Monday afternoon the Italian World Cup winner announced his retirement.

De Rossi had reported back for preseason with new manager Miguel Ángel Russo but left the training ground separately earlier today and confirmed his departure at a later press conference.

Six months remained on the 36-year-old’s one-year deal at La Bombonera and despite there being no injury issues, De Rossi stated his desire to be with his family as the reason.

“I don’t have any health-related issues, I just have to be with my daughter. My family miss me, and I miss them,” De Rossi told the press.

Sat with new Boca president Jorge Amor Ameal, the Roma legend explained that the club had tried to persuade him to stay.

“I had the pleasure of working with the new board. They tried to convince me to stay but the decision was set. They asked me to think about this for a few days. They offered me their help. But I don’t need help. I need to go back home.

“This decision wasn’t made from one day to the next, this decision was made a while ago, but I thought it only right to come back here and tell people face-to-face, as a sign of respect.

“I’m not only saying goodbye to a club that’s in my heart, I’m saying goodbye to football, it’s my world.”

Amid immediate speculation in Argentina of personal problems, De Rossi was quick to downplay such rumours.

“I dont want to get into details. I’ve already explained it well. My oldest daughter was the only one to stay in Italy. She’s living well, she’s not in danger, she just needs her father.

“There’s nothing more. It’s a decision you make when your 36 years old, maybe had I been 25 I would have decided something different.”

De Rossi completed the headline making move last July and scored on his competitive debut even though Boca did end up suffering a surprise Copa Argentina defeat to Almagro.

Hindered by injuries, the veteran would make only six further appearances in the blue and gold before the end of the year, unable to play any part in the Copa Libertadores semi-final against River Plate.

De Rossi did feature in September’s goalless Superclásico in the league and although the move didn’t prove as fruitful as all parties would have desired, De Rossi clearly remains as fond of the Xeneizes as ever.

“I will continue to be a part of Boca. Perhaps destiny (will) bring us together once again. I will continue to watch Boca. The people I’ve met here have been magical, I will never forget this experience.

“I leave a piece of my heart here, as nobody can realise what it means to play at the Bombonera and be in the Boca dressing room. This has been a unique experience.

“Along with this club that will always have a place in my heart, I also leave my playing career. I will certainly continue to work in football, though.”