After sacking José Mourinho, AS Roma has named team legend Daniele De Rossi as its new head coach.
“We are pleased to announce the appointment of De Rossi as our new head coach, who will lead the team until June 30, 2024,” the club said in a statement on Saturday.
Roma owners Dan Friedkin and Ryan Friedkin said: “We are delighted to have De Rossi at the helm, his leadership and ambition will be crucial for the team until the end of the season.” “De Rossi and Roma have an unbreakable bond. His passion will give the players an extra boost. We welcome him back.”
De Rossi came up through the Roma youth ranks, making his debut in 2001 and playing for the club for 18 years until 2019. Second only to Francesco Totti as the most beloved player of Roma fans.
During his career, De Rossi anchored the center of the Roma team. Starting as a central midfielder, he gradually moved down to a defensive midfield position where he continued to excel. When Totti retired after the 2016-2017 season, De Rossi became the team’s captain after a long stint as vice-captain.
Throughout his long career with Roma, De Rossi has scored 63 goals and provided 60 assists in 616 games, making him second on the club’s all-time appearances list behind Totti (783).
For a year after 2019, De Rossi announced his retirement from active play after playing for Argentine side Boca Juniors. He then went into coaching, taking over the Italian national team in 2021.
In 2022, he took over as head coach of SPAL in Serie B, the Italian second division. However, he was fired in February last year after the team finished the season in 18th place.
Roma hired José Mourinho in 2021 after he left Tottenham. In Mourinho’s first season in charge in 2021-2022, Roma won the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference title and qualified for the Europa League.
Last season, they finished sixth in the league and reached the Europa League final, where they lost to Sevilla for their second consecutive European title.
This season, they have struggled under Mourinho. They are ninth in the league with eight wins, five draws, and seven losses. A 1-1 draw with Atalanta at the start of 2024 was followed by a recent 1-3 defeat at home to Milan.
Eventually, Roma’s hierarchy felt it was time for a change, and president Friedkin fired Mourinho.
De Rossi, who took over from Mourinho, said: “I am grateful to Mr. Friedkin for entrusting me with the role of manager of Roma. I don’t think there is any other way than dedication, sacrifice and giving my all to face the challenges that await us,” he said, “I can’t describe the excitement I feel when I sit on the bench. Everyone knows what Rome means to me. But we all have to prioritize what awaits us. We have no choice but to be competitive, fight for our goals and work to achieve them.”
De Rossi will make his debut in charge of Roma in the 21st round of the 2023-2024 Serie A season against Elas Verona at the Stadio Olimpico on April 21.