Daniele De Rossi has decided to leave Boca Juniors and retire from professional football.

Boca snapped up De Rossi on a free transfer in July after the expiration of his contract with Roma, whose first team he played for across 18 seasons.

The 36-year-old midfielder made a goalscoring debut for the Buenos Aires giants in a Copa Argentina victory over Almagro but only made six more appearances.

However, De Rossi has cancelled his contract with Boca and will return to Italy to be closer to his family.

De Rossi made 616 appearances for Roma, a tally only bettered by club legend Francesco Totti, and 117 for Italy, winning the World Cup in 2006.

Explaining his decision at a news conference on Monday, De Rossi said: "No one in my family has health problems. I want to clarify that for the things that were said on social media.

"I just need to be with my daughter, my family. That's the only thing, I think it's a valid reason at this age. I'm 36 years old and I think that, maybe at 25, it would have been different.

"I had no problem with the executives or with [Boca vice president Juan Roman] Riquelme or with anyone. They treated me with love; they understood my decision.

"When I informed them, they asked me to take a couple of days to think about it, but I had already made the decision.

"Not only did I say goodbye to a club that entered my heart, I said goodbye to a sport that was my job, my passion. It was something that was going to happen soon, not something that was going to happen in 10 years."

Christian Eriksen was rumoured to be close to leaving Tottenham at the beginning of the season.

Real Madrid were among the clubs interested in the Dane, whose contract expires in 2020, but a move did not materialise before the end of the transfer window.

But that has not deterred the Spanish giants, with Zinedine Zidane willing to move two fringe players away from them Santiago Bernabeu to get a deal done for the 27-year-old.

 

TOP STORY - LOS BLANCOS PAVING WAY FOR ERIKSEN

Real Madrid could reignite their interest in Christian Eriksen in the January transfer window, AS reports a move will only happen if Madrid dispense of two players.

Isco and Mariano Diaz are understood to be the most likely to be sacrificed.

Mariano is yet to make a single appearance this season but could command a fee of around €20million, while Isco's two LaLiga starts came in the draw against Real Valladolid in August and last weekend's loss to Mallorca.

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is being eyed up by Crystal Palace for a January switch across London, according to the Daily Star.

- El Mundo reports Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have ended their dispute over the transfer of Antoine Griezmann with an extra €15m changing hands.

- The Daily Mail claim Arsenal are in pole position to sign RB Leipzig's France Under-21 defender Dayot Upamecano.

- Italy boss Roberto Mancini has not ruled out a return to the national team for veteran duo Gianluigi Buffon and Daniele De Rossi as he shapes his squad for Euro 2020.

- The Sun says Juventus and Atletico Madrid are chasing 19-year-old West Bromwich Albion defender Nathan Ferguson.

Nicolo Zaniolo has earned a recall to the Italy squad, but injury appears to have ended Daniele De Rossi's hopes of an incredible return.

Zaniolo broke into the senior Azzurri set-up last season after impressing for Roma following a move from Inter as part of the deal to take Radja Nainggolan to San Siro.

The 20-year-old earned two caps but was left out of Roberto Mancini's squad in September.

However, having made eight appearances in all competitions at club level this season, scoring once in the Europa League, Zaniolo is back in the fold for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Greece and Liechtenstein.

While a current Roma star is included, a former Giallorossi icon misses out, with De Rossi absent following reports he was set to return almost two years on from his international retirement.

The 36-year-old midfielder picked up a hamstring injury with club Boca Juniors last month and is not involved.

The only new face in the group is Napoli right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo, although he was involved in a training camp in April.

Forwards Moise Kean, Patrick Cutrone and Andrea Pinamonti are all in the under-21 squad.

Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but have six wins from six in Euro 2020 qualifying to sit top of Group J.

With third-placed Armenia nine points behind and only four matches to play, Mancini's men could secure their place at the finals in the coming international break.

 

Italy squad: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Pierluigi Gollini (Atalanta), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino); Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Cristiano Biraghi (Inter), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Danilo D'Ambrosio (Inter), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Armando Izzo (Torino), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma); Nicolo Barella (Inter), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea), Stefano Sensi (Inter), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain), Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma); Andrea Belotti (Torino), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (Shanghai Shenhua), Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli).

Suso and Matteo Politano were among a host of players Fiorentina attempted to sign on transfer deadline day, sporting director Daniele Prade has confirmed.

Fiorentina were one of the busiest clubs across Europe as the window closed on Monday, bringing in Bobby Duncan from Liverpool, Pedro from Fluminense, and Rachid Ghezzal on a loan deal from Leicester City.

But there were a series of further deals the Viola were unable to get done, according to Prade, with AC Milan playmaker Suso and Inter winger Politano mentioned by name.

Domenico Berardi and Rodrigo De Paul were also targets but neither Sassuolo nor Udinese wanted to sell, while Prade claimed Fiorentina walked away from a deal for Sporting's Raphinha due to the cost of the proposed transfer.

"I'm not disappointed by any of our negotiations," he told a news conference on Tuesday. "We tried until 8pm last night, but the clubs didn't want to sell, so I'm sure I can't do more.

"Sassuolo wouldn't sell Berardi, and it was the same with Udinese and De Paul, Inter and Politano, and Milan and Suso. But we tried.

"[Raphinha] is the only one we let go because the costs were too high for us."

On De Paul, he added: "I have an excellent relationship with [Udinese owner Giampaolo] Pozzo and we didn't want to force it. I never talked to De Paul, because we never found the agreement with Udinese. Other claims are false."

Meanwhile, Prade stated there was never a realistic chance for Fiorentina to sign midfielders Daniele De Rossi or Radja Nainggolan.

De Rossi went to Boca Juniors after leaving Roma, his only previous club, and Nainggolan left Inter for former employers Cagliari on loan, although the Viola did add experience in the form of Kevin-Prince Boateng and Franck Ribery.

"With Nainggolan, we never got to talk to him," Prade said. "It is right that he went to Cagliari.

"As for Daniele, I knew from the beginning that he would never have played in Italy with another team. He made the best choice for his life."

Boca Juniors star Daniele De Rossi made his league debut for the club in a 2-0 win over Aldosivi at La Bombonera on Sunday.

De Rossi made his first appearance for Boca in their shock penalty shoot-out defeat to Almagro in the Copa Argentina on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old, who left boyhood club Roma for Boca, marked his bow with a goal in that match against the second-tier side.

But De Rossi had his first proper taste of life at Boca as he stepped out onto the famous La Bombonera turf in Buenos Aires for his first league match.

Former Italy international De Rossi played the full 90 minutes in a Superliga Argentina victory sealed by Carlos Tevez and Eduardo Salvio.

Ex-Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus forward Tevez opened the scoring in the 34th minute before substitute Salvio made it 2-0 with 12 minutes remaining as Boca made it two wins from three matches in the league.

Boca, who are unbeaten, are third as they eye their first Superliga crown since 2017-18 and 34th overall.

Daniele De Rossi scored on his Boca Juniors debut but the Argentine powerhouse suffered a shock penalty shoot-out defeat to Almagro.

De Rossi made a dream start to life at Boca after leaving boyhood club Roma, marking his bow with the 28th-minute opener on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old's bullet header at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata had three-time Copa champions Boca on track to advance to the round of 16.

However, when De Rossi was substituted with 13 minutes remaining, Boca lost control against the second-tier side.

Juan Martinez equalised for Almagro within five minutes of former Italy international De Rossi's exit as the match went to extra time.

De Rossi then watched from the sidelines as Boca – winners in 2014-15 – were stunned 3-1 in the shoot-out.

Afterwards, Boca forward Ramon Abila told reporters: "It bothers me to lose, but we apologise to the people of Boca."

Daniele De Rossi marked his Boca Juniors debut with a goal in a dream start to his career with the Argentine giants.

De Rossi, 36, joined Boca last month after ending an 18-year stay with boyhood club Roma in Serie A.

The midfielder had an instant impact on debut, heading in the opening goal against Almagro in the Copa Argentina on Tuesday.

De Rossi got on the end of a corner from Alexis Mac Allister in the 28th minute to put Boca ahead at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata.

The former Italy international only scored 63 goals in 616 games for Roma, but made a dream goalscoring start to life at Boca.

Daniele De Rossi believes he has chosen to continue his career with "the craziest fans in football" after joining Boca Juniors following his Roma departure.

The 36-year-old midfielder had spent his entire professional career at Roma, having come through their academy, but they opted to let him leave on a free transfer and that sparked protests from supporters.

Initially the former Italy international looked destined to retire, but Boca emerged as a potential destination, and it soon became apparent De Rossi had long desired to represent Los Xeneizes.

De Rossi was given a hero's welcome upon his arrival in Buenos Aires, and Boca confirmed his signing on Thursday after he agreed a 12-month contract.

He was officially presented to the media on Monday and highlighted the influence of Boca sporting director Nicolas Burdisso – a former Roma team-mate of De Rossi's – and the passion of the fans in his decision to sign.

 Con este emotivo video, el club sorprendió a Daniele De Rossi en medio de la conferencia de prensa. ¡No te lo pierdas! pic.twitter.com/vwfnjQf3Sy

— Boca Jrs. Oficial (@BocaJrsOficial) July 29, 2019

"These days I think I want to be inside this stadium, to know deeply what it means," he told reporters.

"The reception at the airport was incredible. I can't thank you enough other than by doing my job as seriously as I can. I have to be serious to show that we all made a good choice.

"From time to time we talked, Nicolas and I. First, I said yes after I left Roma, but then I asked him if I could think about it a little more.

"Being 36 years old and changing everything at once was something that could scare me, but this place stimulates me, and Nicolas was my guarantee.

"He told me that they are professionals in Boca and I believe him. He is my friend; he would not have brought me to a place where I wouldn't fit in.

"Estoy muy feliz de estar acá" | Daniele De Rossi fue presentado este lunes en conferencia de prensa y brindó sus primeras palabras como jugador Xeneize.

  https://t.co/yUNjUqBHjK pic.twitter.com/pUVAYLuk2b

— Boca Jrs. Oficial (@BocaJrsOficial) July 29, 2019

"I need serious people, with a structure similar to that in Europe, and what I have seen here is that, a suitable place to work.

"I asked myself many times. I lived for 20 years in a country where football is lived 24 hours a day.

"I could have chosen a much quieter place to relax, but I only know one way: seriousness, and then I chose to come to a place with the craziest fans in football."

Boca Juniors are unwilling to rush Daniele De Rossi's debut, with the midfielder set to make his first appearance for the South American giants in mid-August.

The Roma and Italy great signed with Boca last week after his 18-season stay with the Serie A giants came to an end.

However, De Rossi must wait for his debut, with the club eyeing their Copa Argentina clash against Almagro on August 13 as a possible first appearance for the 36-year-old.

"We are testing him. He is in an evaluation period," Boca coach Gustavo Alfaro told a news conference after his side drew 0-0 with Huracan on Sunday.

"We are evaluating him because he has a really good attitude and he shows himself eager to work. We are looking at his physical conditions.

"So, based on this I was talking with his trainer to see how possible it is to get him ready to play against Almagro in the Copa Argentina. That's in 18 days, it was 18 days when I talked to him. I asked him if we can get him fit in 18 days.

"We are working on this premise, so he can get onto the pitch at that time so he can play."

Daniele De Rossi says he is fulfilling a dream by joining Boca Juniors.

The veteran midfielder was confirmed as a Boca player on Thursday after leaving boyhood club Roma at the end of his contract.

The 2006 World Cup winner was tempted by the prospect of a switch to MLS, with Los Angeles FC said to have been interested in his signature.

However, the 36-year-old has followed his heart by moving to the Bombonera to play for a club co-founded by Italians at the beginning of the last century.

In a special video released to mark his arrival at Boca, De Rossi said: "My heart is Roma, but I've really liked Boca since I was a boy. For [Diego] Maradona, for the stadium, because I love the stadium, I love the fans, who are passionate.

"It's a club founded by Italians that has made me feel at home, a big club, one you can believe in.

"I'd love to go to America, but to climb those stairs, go out into the Bombonera with the Boca players... that would be a pleasure.

"The most important thing in life is to be able to achieve all your dreams. Thank you, Boca."

Daniele De Rossi has extended his 18-year professional career by joining Boca Juniors in Argentina.

The former Italy international left hometown club Roma at the end of last season after learning his contract would not be renewed.

Revered at Stadio Olimpico, where he debuted in October 2001, the 36-year-old De Rossi will prolong his playing days at the equally iconic La Bombonera after signing a deal on Thursday.

He arrives in Buenos Aires as a World Cup winner who won Coppa Italia twice and the Supercoppa Italiana with the Giallorossi.

Using Opta data, we take a look at the dependable, highly decorated and vastly experienced midfielder Boca have gained.

616 - De Rossi played 616 times for Roma in all competitions, albeit still 170 short of the club's record appearance maker Francesco Totti.

61 - The midfielder has, however, featured in more Champions League/European Cup matches than any other Roma player. His tally of 61 is four more than Totti managed.

459 - In total, De Rossi featured in 459 Serie A games for Roma.

249 - With De Rossi in their side, Roma won 249 league matches. They lost on 99 occasions and had 111 draws.

63 - De Rossi scored 63 goals for Roma in his 18-year spell in the first-team – 43 of those were in Serie A, with 13 in European competitions.

117 - Only three players have won more Italy caps than De Rossi's 117. They are Gianluigi Buffon (176), Fabio Cannavaro (136) and Paolo Maldini (126).

21 - De Rossi found the net against 21 of the 40 teams he faced in Serie A. He also managed 21 international goals.

4 - Chievo were De Rossi's favourite opponents when it came to getting himself on the scoresheet, as the holding midfielder netted four times in 24 league appearances against them.

355 - Only two players in Roma's history – De Rossi and Totti – have made at least 500 appearances for the club. De Rossi also played alongside the forward 355 times in Serie A.

Daniele De Rossi has completed his move to Boca Juniors, the club have confirmed.

De Rossi was a free agent after being released at the end of his Roma contract.

Only Francesco Totti had made more appearances for the Giallorossi than De Rossi, who was Roma's captain.

The former Italy midfielder, who won the World Cup in 2006, had initially been expected to retire, but he was also linked with Fiorentina.

But it became clear he was heading to Boca on Thursday when his arrival at an Argentina airport sparked huge celebrations.

De Rossi's arrival was then made official by Boca, with the 36-year-old reported to have signed a deal to March 2020.

His move to Boca is expected to pave the way for Uruguay international Nahitan Nandez to join Serie A side Cagliari.

Boca Juniors president Daniel Angelici believes a deal for former Roma icon Daniele de Rossi is all but sealed.

Sporting director Nicolas Burdisso spoke last month of his desire to see De Rossi join Boca after the World Cup winner left boyhood club Roma.

And despite reports the Italian would instead retire, links to the Argentine giants have persisted.

Angelici now hopes a move is close, claiming negotiations are 99 per cent of the way.

"The negotiations for De Rossi are well under way," he told TyC Sports. "In the coming days, he will fly to Buenos Aires.

"It is 99 per cent that Daniele will be a Boca player.

"To have a world champion say he wants to finish his career here fills me with pride. It is good for Argentine football to have a player like this."

De Rossi would likely replace Uruguay star Nahitan Nandez, who is a reported target for Cagliari.

Barcelona are making moves to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou, but they have work to do.

Neymar, 27, is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain this close season, having told the Ligue 1 champions of his desire for a Parc des Princes exit.

It comes just two years after his world-record €222million move from Barcelona, who are taking steps to bring the Brazil star back.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA OFFER COUTINHO, RAKITIC PLUS €40M FOR NEYMAR

Barcelona have verbally offered Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic, plus €40m, to PSG for Neymar, according to L'Equipe.

The report says PSG are standing firm over Neymar, having paid €222m for the superstar forward two years ago.

There have been contrasting reports about Barca's offer, with others saying it was Ousmane Dembele, not Rakitic, included as part of the deal.

ROUND-UP

- Romelu Lukaku's possible switch from Manchester United to Inter has moved slowly, but the Serie A outfit could be getting closer. According to The Sun, Inter will tell United they will meet their €83m (£75m) asking price if the deal includes bonus payments.

- Atletico Madrid are well and truly rebuilding and their latest addition looks set to be Kieran Trippier. AS say the Tottenham right-back could soon complete a €30m (£27.1m) move to Atletico, while Spurs have enquired about Angel Correa in a potential deal.

- Arsenal have had a quiet close season, but they are still chasing Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos. According to AS, Ceballos is set to join the Premier League outfit on a one-season loan deal.

- Daniele De Rossi was apparently contemplating retirement, but the Roma great could instead be set for a surprise move. Sky Sport say De Rossi is set to accept a short-term deal with Boca Juniors.

- Napoli are struggling to agree a deal with Real Madrid for James Rodriguez and they may turn their attentions to Nicolas Pepe. The Lille forward has been linked with numerous clubs this close season and Gianluca Di Marzio reports Napoli could move for the Ivory Coast international.

- Barcelona are extremely interested in signing Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo, according to Marca. The Spain youth international has reportedly been a target for Liverpool and Manchester United, but Barca are looking at negotiating with Betis over a €50m release clause.

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