Daniele De Rossi says he joined Boca Juniors as it was an experience he could not do without and believes the club offers the same level of “madness” he enjoyed at Roma.
The 36-year-old made the surprise move to Argentina after his 18-year stay in the Italian capital came to an end.
De Rossi had been expected to follow the lead of fellow Giallorossi great Francesco Totti, who retired as a one-club man at the end of the 2017 season, but instead decided to embark on a new challenge in Buenos Aires.
“Every player should enjoy what I’m feeling right now, because if you love playing football, you can’t do without an experience like this,” De Rossi explained at a press conference presenting him to the media, as reported by Football Italia.
“I grew up in the years just after Diego Maradona’s Napoli. You can’t help but fall in love with a player like that, so he got me interested in Boca and then my focus moved on to the madness of being here.
“I lived in an environment of madness at Roma, fans who live football 24 hours a day. I might’ve been a more relaxed person playing somewhere else, but that’s just what I’m like.
"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.— Boca Jrs. Oficial (@BocaJrsOficial) July 29, 2019
👉 https://t.co/yUNjUqBHjK pic.twitter.com/pUVAYLuk2b
“I chose Boca because whatever happens this season, I will be enriched as a person and my family will feel that way too.”
De Rossi, who made over 600 appearances for Roma and racked up 117 Italy caps, links up with former Roma team-mate Nicolas Burdisso – Boca’s club director.
The midfielder is determined to make his mark in the Argentinian capital and believes he can help deliver silverware.
“Burdisso told me so much about Boca. If you’re not in the stadium, you can’t understand what it’s like to be a part of it,” De Rossi added.
“This is spectacular, of course, but on top of the affection, I also found a club that is well run and reliable.
“The fans are just incredible. The only way I can thank them is to do my job and that’s extra motivation. I am here as a football player and that’s a great responsibility.
“Once the news of my Roma departure was official, Burdisso started calling and he really wanted to bring me here. I said yes immediately, but then had to think about it, because such a big change was frightening.
“I know he’d never take me somewhere that would make me unhappy. I don’t need anyone to promise me some sci-fi scenario. I need reliable people, as I just want to play football. It’s important that here they live football 24 hours a day, the way I do. I don’t want to be somewhere that switches me off.
“My objectives are the same as Boca, to win the Libertadores and everything else. I am here to help.”
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