De Rossi: ‘Nobody will love Roma like me’

Daniele De Rossi has written a touching open letter ahead of his final Roma match. “Nobody will ever love you more than me.”

The Sunday evening game against Parma at the Stadio Olimpico will mark the end of his Giallorossi experience and, it’s reported, perhaps also playing career.

His farewell considered his lifetime as a Roma fan, no regrets over choosing to reject other clubs and above all a call for unity, asking the fans to set aside their anger at President James Pallotta and the hierarchy.

“Why are you grinning, kid?”

“I’m happy!”

“Why are you happy?”

“I’ve got a Roma jersey.”

“Isn’t it counterfeit?”

“No, it’s just that my auntie sewed on the number…”

“What if I tell you that you’ll wear it over 600 times?”

“I’d be happy just with one game.”

“Looking back at this photograph, that you all know by now, I realise just how lucky I have been, good fortune that I never took for granted and I will never be grateful enough for.

“It was a long journey, intense, always accompanied by my love for this team.

“I don’t want to leave this gratitude hanging in the air, because, while I write the words thank you, my mind considers not abstract concepts, but specific memories and sensations, faces and voices.

“Allow me to thank all the Roma that I got to know: the Sensi family, President Pallotta. All the women and men who worked and currently work at Trigoria. The Coaches who guided me, each of whom taught me something important, nobody excluded.

“The medical staff who took care of me: Damiano, without whom my appearances in this jersey would certainly have been fewer.

“My teammates, the most intimate side of my work: they are like a family to me. The daily life of the Trigoria locker room is what I will miss the most.

“Bruno, who saw something special in me and took me to this fantastic youth academy. And there, on an August morning, I met Simone and Mancio, who remained by my side so far and will be there for the rest of my life.

“Thank you to Davide, he too will be alongside me for life.

“Thank you to Francesco. I received the armband I wear from the hands of a brother, of a great captain and of the most extraordinary player I have ever seen wear this jersey.

“Not everyone gets to play for 16 years alongside his idol. I hand this armband back, with respect, to Alessandro. Another brother who I am sure will be just as worthy.

“Thank you to my Dad and Mum, for having raised me with the right values that I carry with me every day: treat others the way you would like to be treated yourself and always help those who are struggling.

“Thank you to the town of Ostia, to its people and its sea, which raised me as a child, accompanied me as an adolescent and welcomed me back as an adult.

“Thank you to those who supported and put up with me in my home: without Gaia, Olivia and Noah, and above all Sarah, I’d be half the man I am today.

“Thank you to the Roma fans, to my fans. I allow myself to call them mine today, because the love that you have shown allowed me to continue being a part of you even when on the field.

“You are the reason why I chose this wonderful city again, so many times. Tomorrow will be the 616th time in which I consider this choice to be the right one.

“On May 26 a few years ago, we experienced a day after which we thought that we could never smile again. I thought so too, until I saw the tattoo of a fan that read: ‘May 27 2013, and yet the wind still blows.’

“I don’t know who that tattoo belonged to, but I know that the wind will blow again after this May 27 too.

“Never more than over the last few days have I felt your affection: it overwhelmed me and filled my heart. Never more than over the last few days have I seen you so united for a cause.

“Now, the greatest gift you could give me would be to set aside the anger and all together unite to blow the wind in our sails, to push forward the only thing that we care about, the thing that comes first and foremost ahead of everything: Roma.

“Nobody will ever love you more than me.

“Arrivederci.

“Daniele De Rossi.”

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