Roma captain De Rossi to leave club after 18 years

FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2009 file photo, Roma's Francesco Totti, left, and teammate Daniele De Rossi celebrate after their team's 1-0 victory at the end of the Serie A soccer match between AS Roma and Lazio, in Rome's Olympic stadium. Roma captain Daniele De Rossi surprisingly announced on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 he is leaving his hometown club after 18 years. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)
FILE - In this July 25, 2018 file photo, Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi waves after an International Champions Cup tournament soccer match against Tottenham, in San Diego, CA, United States. Roma captain Daniele De Rossi surprisingly announced on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 he is leaving his hometown club after 18 years. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, file)
FILE - In this May 24, 2008 file photo, AS Roma's captain Francesco Totti, right, and teammate Daniele De Rossi, hold the trophy after AS Roma defeated Inter Milan 2-1, to win the Italy Cup final in Rome's Olympic stadium. Roma captain Daniele De Rossi surprisingly announced on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 he is leaving his hometown club after 18 years. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, file)
FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2016 file photo, Roma's Daniele De Rossi celebrates after his teammate Kostas Manolas scored during a Serie A soccer match between Roma and Inter Milan, at Rome's Olympic Stadium. Roma captain Daniele De Rossi surprisingly announced on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 he is leaving his hometown club after 18 years. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)
FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2008 file photo, Roma forward Francesco Totti, left, is hugged by teammats Daniele De Rossi, center, and Mancini after scoring during the Italy Cup soccer match between AS Roma and Torino at Rome's Olympic stadium. Roma captain Daniele De Rossi surprisingly announced on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 he is leaving his hometown club after 18 years.(AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, file)
FILE - In this March 6, 2019 file photo, Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League round of 16, 2nd leg, soccer match between FC Porto and AS Roma at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal. Roma captain Daniele De Rossi surprisingly announced on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 he is leaving his hometown club after 18 years. (AP Photo/Luis Vieira, file)

ROME — 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.

"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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