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Stuart Harper On July - 6 - 2011

Roma’s Daniele De Rossi: Back To The Future

In what was a turmoil ridden campaign for the Giallorossi, there were always going to be causalities – the question is, will ‘il capitano futuro’, the disaffected Daniele De Rossi, follow Philippe Mexes out of Rome?

Understandably, vultures in the form of European football’s big guns are circling over Roma’s carcass, hoping to pick from the bones of last season, before Thomas di Benedetto can breathe new life into the wounded wolf.  So, with Mexes now a Milanista and Jeremy Menez teetering on the brink, will Roma lose the one player many believed to be the next Francesco Totti - Daniele De Rossi?

Even without credible evidence, it is understandable why the press corps regularly write articles to cause Romanisti concern. On the pitch and in form, De Rossi is the type of player craved by top tier teams. Strong in the tackle and composed on the ball, he is an authoritative midfield general, befitting of captain status - the sort of player and personality to add grit and guile to the hub of any side.

Last season however, Daniele experienced a succession of serious personal issues which undoubtedly contributed to a lacklustre season in Roma’s famed Giallorosso jersey – so poor the fans jeered the number sixteen at times – with certain quarters calling for the native Roman to be befittingly elbowed – and cue the inevitable speculation about a fresh start and life away from Rome.

But what does Serie A Weekly make of Daniele’s future?

Ostensibly, Daniele has not suddenly become either a bad player or heinous character. Clearly he is an emotional soul, as evidenced by his bare-chested, Curva Sud celebrations long after Roma beat Lazio in the Coppa Italia. Unfortunately, this emotional propensity allowed off-field issues to manifest as moments of ‘elbow throwing’ madness added to a form blighting malaise.

Yes, De Rossi needs a fresh start, but he also needs to remain in the bosom of the city he calls home – thankfully for Romanisti, he can have both while remaining in Giallorosso.

Roma’s American Revolution has bought sweeping change to Trigoria, with the former Barcelona player and B-team coach, Luis Enrique installed as Roma’s new ‘Mister’. As a player, Enrique too felt the consternation of fans, having joined the Blaugrana from bitterest rivals, Real Madrid. But in time, not only did Enrique’s character and midfield performances convince the Nou Camp faithful, but also earned him the captain’s armband.

Clearly, Roma’s new coach is sympathetically positioned to aid De Rossi’s revival, and no doubt wise enough to know his Roma career is worth reviving. Players of Daniele’s ilk are vital for teams to function effectively and notoriously difficult to replace – but the significance of his Roman roots adds a crucial cachet to this dynamic.

Having felt both the wrath and appreciation of the home crowd, Enrique will understand the power of partisanship and should therefore be predisposed to retain the former Stadio Olimpico ball-boy. But Enrique aside, the great and the good are predicting a protracted stay for De Rossi in the eternal city.

Both Marcelo Lippi and Walter Sabatini have recently voiced a collective belief that Daniele will remain in Rome. The former Azzurri tactician explained that an intrinsic link with the city and its people would make leaving ‘home’ an incredibly decision to make, while Sabatini made the appropriate noises about a desire to keep the lifelong Romanista where he belongs.

Even Alberto De Rossi, Daniele’s father and Roma’s Primavera coach, recently suggested that his son has unfinished business in Giallorosso and cumulatively the pieces begin to form a more hopeful picture than the persistent rumours suggest.

Seemingly, the only person who feels a life away from Rome is the correct path is the player himself – or so we believe.  But ask yourself this, does a solitary ‘annus horribilis’ mean that a lifetime of devotion be binned?

Unlike many other, mercenary driven mercato moves, the ties that bind De Rossi to his beloved club transcend oft seen and highly sycophantic badge kissing. Should ‘il capitano futuro’ walk away, he will walk away from history, family and ultimately a future he can see in the guise of fellow Roman and current il capitano, Francesco Totti. To my mind, the many and substantial reasons for De Rossi to stay makes for a most compelling argument.

Stuart Harper

Freelance sports writer covering football, calcio & futbol. A Villa, Roma & Barca fan. Cycling too.

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One Response so far.

  1. lukuman says:

    Daniele, has been very committed at Giallorosso. Even when he was in his topmost form, he still neglected tranfer offers from the big names in European football.
    i think as leader in the team now, there is a challenge he must overcome..and i will not be surprised if he stays

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