AS Roma legend Daniele De Rossi has confirmed he will leave his boyhood club this summer – though he intends to play on.
The 35-year-old joined the Giallorossi in 2000 from local side Ostia Mare and has made 615 appearances for Roma since, scoring 63 goals.
A FIFA World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, De Rossi will make his final appearance for the Giallorossi in their Serie A fixture against Parma on May 26.
Speaking at a specially arranged press conference to announce his exit, the midfielder said: "Roma and I chose each other. There is a lot of love between us, both now and in the future - even if it will be in another form.
"I thank God for the career I've had. I would have been happy if I'd manage to emulate my father's career, in Serie C. He's my idol. When I was 14 or 15, it did not look like I would ever become as good as I did."
De Rossi, who won the Coppa Italia in 2007 and 2008, as well as the Supercoppa Italiana in 2008, will finish his Roma career behind only Francesco Totti for appearances (786).
"Looking back, some specific moments I would change," he added. "But overall, I wouldn't change anything about staying loyal to this team.
"If I had a magic wand, I would have put a few more trophies on the mantelpiece."
Addressing his next move, De Rossi said: "Eventually I would like to be a coach. At this point I don't see myself becoming a director, but at Roma a role like that would have some meaning. I need to go away and study, to learn – it will be a long journey."
Roma president Jim Pallotta added: "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."