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De Rossi: I Was Prepared To Leave Roma

Daniele De Rossi has revealed that if he had gotten an exciting offer from a big European club or an MLS outfit, he would have left Roma.

The veteran midfielder has spent his entire career at the Stadio Olimpico and is the longest serving player at Roma, since the exit of Francesco Totti.

De Rossi, however, signed a two-year contract in May and has stated he considered leaving the club, as his previous contract ran down.

De Rossi told Corriere dello Sport on whether he now hopes to retire at Roma: “I don’t know. I always thought it’d be great if I could, with all due respect and the correct proportions, experience a day like the one Totti had on May 28 when he retired. It’d be wonderful to experience such an intense salute with the fans. I don’t know when and I don’t know how.

“At the same time, I do feel the strong desire to have an experience elsewhere. Frankly, 16 years at Roma is like 32 elsewhere, because they really weigh on you and are a tough slog. Thank God, I am physically having the best seasons of my career, but the pressure is often excessive here.

“I think I would, and ought to, have an experience elsewhere. I had already decided to do it last year, as for long periods there was no contact with the club over my renewal.

“It wasn’t too bad in my view: I was playing well, so would leave a happy memory. For a while, it was my plan to leave. The biggest offer on the table was from another Italian club.

“However, my heart and love won out: I couldn’t betray the city and the fans. If a big European or American club had come in – and it’s no secret one of my dreams is to go to America for a lifestyle and football experience – I probably wouldn’t be here today.”

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