De Rossi deserved better says Ranieri

Departing Roma legend 'wasn't allowed to think about it'

(ANSA) - Rome, May 16 - Daniele De Rossi deserved better from the club he served for 18 years than to be refused a contract extension forcing him to seek employment abroad, Roma coach Claudio Ranieri said Thursday.
    "Daniele, being the captain and a historic person here, should have been told in another way and given time to think about it, but instead this was not given to him," said Ranieri, a Rome native like the 35-year-old De Rossi who said he realised from ten months of silence that his only club weren't going to keep him on, before they announced the end of his term earlier this week.
    "For such an important figure and Rome fans having such an all-consuming love for their team, a more careful consideration would have advised different behaviour, perhaps".
    AS Roma legend De Rossi announced Tuesday that he will leave the only side he has ever played for and join a foreign club next season, with the 35-year-old former Italy player's contract not being renewed for another year.
    The former Italy midfielder, a born-and-bred Roman, has made 615 appearances and scored 63 goals for Roma, putting him second on its list of all-time leading appearance-makers behind another club legend - Francesco Totti.
    The veteran took over the club captaincy when Totti retired in 2017.
    He helped Roma win the Italian Cup in 2007 and 2008 and he was part of Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning squad.
    At his peak he was arguably one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.
    His final game for Roma will be their last Serie A game of the season against Parma on May 26.
    "For 18 years, Daniele has been the beating heart of AS Roma's team," said Roma Chairman Jim Pallotta.
    "From his debut in 2001 to taking on the responsibility of the captain's armband, he always represented the Roma fans on the pitch with pride as he established himself as one of the best midfielders in Europe.
    "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.
    "On behalf of everyone at Roma, I'd like to thank Daniele for his incredible dedication to this club and ensure him that our doors will remain open for him to return to the club in a new role whenever he wants".
    De Rossi said it had not been his decision to leave and the club had decided not to renew his contract.
    "If I had been a director I would have renewed my contract," he said.
    "I got an idea (Roma were not going to renew the contract) when I didn't get a call for 10 months, not even to hypothesise renewing the contract.
    "I'm 36 years old and I know this world.
    "I felt I could have gone on another couple of years but these are decisions taken at a club level.
    "It was a bit like Del Piero, someone had to put a full stop." He denied speculation that he would later go on to be a club exec like Totti, but added that he hoped Totti got greater powers.