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Italy, Roma great De Rossi retires after Boca Juniors stint at 36

Daniele De Rossi, Boca Juniors
Daniele De Rossi will retire from football after a season with Boca Juniors.

World Cup winner Daniele De Rossi on Monday confirmed he will retire from football at the age of 36.

De Rossi, who spent 18 years with boyhood club Roma after making his debut in 2001, left for Boca Juniors in July 2019 and helped the Argentine club reach the Copa Libertadores semifinals.

Despite having signed a one-year contract, after returning to Argentina following a Christmas break in Rome, the midfielder reported back for his medicals but left the training ground and decided he would hang up his boots.

On Monday he insisted the decision had nothing to do with the club's new management but was instead motivated by his family. 

"I am leaving because my daughter misses me and I want to be with her, and that is the only reason," De Rossi said during a news conference on Monday. "My experience at Boca was unique and in the short time I was there, the club won over my heart. It is a personal decision, no one has any health problems, I just feel the need to be closer to my daughter and to my family."

De Rossi was part of Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning squad, coming on as a substitute in the final victory over France. He had been sent off for a vicious elbow in the second match of the tournament and received a four-match ban, only returning for the final.

His 616 appearances for Roma is second only to Francesco Totti's 786 in terms of the most games played for the Giallorossi.

He was given his professional debut by Fabio Capello in 2001 -- just six months after they clinched their last-ever Serie A title -- in a Champions League clash with Anderlecht.

De Rossi never won Serie A, but finished as a runner-up on eight occasions. He also helped Roma win back-to-back Coppa Italia trophies in 2007 and 2008.

De Rossi did not give details about his future.

"I will continue working in football in Italy, but I do not know in what function," he said. "Here we are very far away [from family]. It is difficult to make connections in the day to day. I will be in Rome or a city close to it."

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