Daniele De Rossi will leave Roma at the end of the season, ending a 19 year stay with the club.
The stalwart Italian, who turns 36 in July, was recently informed by the club that he would not have his contract renewed.
Despite feelings of disappointment, De Rossi was fully understanding of the club’s decision and their intentions moving forward.
“I realised the decision the club was going to take regarding myself,” he said.
“I’m almost 36 and I know how football is, but I didn’t want to distract from our European race.
“I’m not over the moon, but I accept the decision of the club. I have no resentment towards that. We never spoke about money: that was not the crux of the matter.”
“I don’t agree that the decision should have been mine alone. The club exists to make these sorts of decisions, alongside the coaches. Someone has to make that ultimate call.”
De Rossi joined Roma’s youth set-up in 2000, before finding a place in the senior squad the following season.
Since then, he has featured 615 times for the Giallorossi, finding the net on 63 occasions.
His international career is also one to savour, having represented Italy 117 times across 13 years, including his pivotal role in the nation’s World Cup triumph in 2006.
De Rossi is one of only three remaining players from the winning squad – Andrea Barzagli and Gianluigi Buffon the others – and with Barzagli already a confirmed retirement and Buffon potentially to join him, De Rossi could be the last man standing.
In his farewell press conference, De Rossi thanked his father for the long and decorated career that he has been able to have.
“I would have been happy if I’d manage to emulate my father’s career, in Serie C,” he said.
“He’s my idol. When I was 14 or 15, it did not look like I would ever become as good as I did.”
De Rossi does intend to play on at another club, with Major League Soccer’s New York City reportedly first in line to secure his services.
He would be the second notable Italian to join the club, after Andrea Pirlo enjoyed a two-year spell there between 2017 and 2019.
Wherever he does end up, De Rossi will be regarded as a Roma legend for eternity.