Roma legend De Rossi retires from football

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Daniele De Rossi of Italy celebrates after scoring a penalty during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifying soccer match between Italy and Albania in Palermo, Italy, on March 24, 2017. Italy won 2-0. (Xinhua/Alberto Lingria)

Former Roma and Italy midfielder Daniele de Rossi retired from football on Monday after a professional career spanning two decades.

The announcement came just six months after the 36-year-old joined Argentinian giants Boca Juniors, for whom he made just seven appearances and scored one goal.

"I need to go home. I'm leaving Boca and football," De Rossi told a news conference. "I'm leaving a club that has entered my heart, this sport, my passion.

"There isn't any underlying health problem. I just feel the need to be closer to my family, to my daughter. I miss them and they miss me."

De Rossi was released by Roma last May after making his 616th and final appearance for the club in a 2-1 home win over Parma. He later said that he still "feels like a player" and wanted a "new adventure."

He has capped 117 times for Italy and was a part of the Azzurri team that won the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

De Rossi added: "I'm going to continue working in football in Italy, I don't know in what role. Here we're very far away, it's hard to connect with people [back home] on a day to day basis. I'm going to stay in Rome or cities close by."

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