The news should not come as much of a surprise as many predicted earlier in the day that De Rossi would snub the Premier League Champions to stick with his boyhood club in Rome.
De Rossi currently sits sixth on the all-time Roma appearances list having made his debut for the club in 2001 as a fresh faced 18-year -old. Since that day he has racked up another 388 appearances for the Giallorossi and it is widely acknowledged that the fan favourite will almost certainly take up the captaincy of the club upon Francesco Totti’s retirement.
Roma are one of the rare teams in world football, along with Athletic Bilbao, where players that push their way through the youth system tend to stick around through the good and the bad. There is a deep and strong bonded affinity between players, fans and club that overpowers money and other desires, a sentiment echoed by former Italian manager Marcelo Lippi who once said ‘Players who are born in the capital and play for Roma have a very special relationship with the club. They have very strong ties and it's hard for them to leave.’
Roma legend Giacomo Losi started the trend, a one club man who dedicated all 14 years of his playing career to the club and his mantle has been taken up in recent years by club stalwarts Totti and De Rossi.
All the same, this time last year De Rossi admitted that 'Those things (Transfer links) fascinated me and I did speak to other clubs. I was very tempted to see if I had the strength to play elsewhere.’ Yesterday’s comments along with the five year contract extension signed last season show that the player is now fully committed to the cause, meaning Roma fans can breath a collective sigh of relief.
The Italian side have already been hit by departures this summer with Fabio Borini leaving for Liverpool and Miralem Pjanic said to be close to the exit, with Spurs the most likely destination. Nevertheless De Rossi’s comments will soften the blows caused by outgoing players, replicating the excitement of a new signing to newly appointed coach Zdeněk Zeman.
Man City fans meanwhile will be hugely disappointed at the news that the Euro 2012 star will not be bolstering their squad to form an imposing partnership with Yaya Toure. De Rossi confirmed that Man City had shown an interest, claiming that ‘One club, the one you all know, made an enquiry’ with Mancini’s men the only known admirers.
Arguably City’s weakest position currently is in the centre of midfield, alongside Toure, with Jack Rodwell still fairly inexperienced, Nigel De Jong unfancied by Mancini and Gareth Barry the wrong side of 30. De Rossi would have provided that little extra midfield quality required to help with their fight on all four trophy hunts.
Nevertheless Man City will be confident they can go on to achieve multiple successes this season without the Italian and will no doubt move on and approach new targets.
Manchester City fans are you disappointed at the news? And fans of other Premier League teams, are you happy that City’s path has hit a disappointing roadblock or saddened that we won’t see De Rossi gracing the Premier League in the near future?
image: © LaertesCTB