'It must be a party' – Ranieri expects raucous farewell for De Rossi
- September 12, 2019
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The manager is braced for an emotional match as the club icon says goodbye to Roma on Sunday
Claudio Ranieri said he is happy to pay a fine if departing captain Daniele De Rossi wears a special armband in his farewell match.
De Rossi will leave Roma following their Serie A finale against Parma on Sunday – ending a 19-year association with his hometown team.
Roma opted not to renew the 35-year-old’s contract and caretaker head coach Ranieri is braced for an emotional game at Stadio Olimpico.
“De Rossi will play from the first minute with his armband,” Ranieri told reporters during his news conference.
“He deserves a standing ovation from the entire Olimpico. It must be a party, he has to have a great game.
“I hope there’s an atmosphere that Daniele deserves. I want to see the stadium filled with love for Daniele. It must be a party for him, for what he did for Roma and how he did it.
“For me, what makes Daniele special is how he manages to convey the passion he has for his shirt through his game.
“I believe that leaving was a bolt from the blue for him. I don’t know if he’ll wear a special armband, but I’m happy to pay the fine.
“I’m glad there’s a party for Daniele. I’ll leave Roma with an open heart, hoping to always see them be great in the future.”
Sunday’s fixture will also see Ranieri leave after the 67-year-old returned to the club following Eusebio Di Francesco’s sacking in March.
Roma are sixth and three points adrift of the Champions League places heading into their season finale.
“I feel like a European coach, so I’ll go wherever there’s a project that interests me,” former Chelsea and Leicester City manager Ranieri said.
“I think this is a good group of players, with a nice mix of young and old. Certainly we expected more from some of the young players, but it’s okay.
“The core of the squad is solid and healthy, and everyone wants to do well. We won’t start from scratch.
“We’ll start from a deficit because before we were always in the Champions League, but it won’t restart from zero. Instead, we’ll start from scratch with a new coach, with his own game and ideas.”
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