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BC-SOC--Roma-De Rossi,1st Ld-Writethru

May 14, 2019 GMT

ROME (AP) — Roma captain Daniele De Rossi is surprisingly leaving his hometown club after 18 years.

Roma made the announcement on its website, adding De Rossi will hold a news conference later Tuesday.

The 35-year-old midfielder is expected to play abroad following his final two upcoming matches with Roma at Sassuolo and at home against Parma.

“We will all shed tears when he pulls on the Giallorossi shirt for the last time against Parma but we respect his desire to prolong his playing career — even if, at almost 36, it will be away from Rome,” club president James Pallotta said.

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“On behalf of everyone at Roma, I would like to thank Daniele for his incredible dedication to this club and assure him that our doors will remain open for him to return to the club in a new role whenever he wants.”

The move adds another disappointing chapter to a difficult season for Roma, which is still battling to get into the top four Serie A spots and stay in the Champions League.

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