Boca Juniors complete signing of Roma legend Daniele De Rossi
De Rossi, pictured, after his final appearance in a Roma jersey against Parma last May (Getty Images: NurPhoto)

Boca Juniors have confirmed the signing of midfielder Daniele De Rossi on a one year deal, after the 36-year-old left AS Roma  at the end of last season.

De Rossi has spent his entire professional career at the Stadio Olimpico, making 616 appearances, a record bettered only by teammate Francesco Totti who played 768 times for I Giallorossi.

The defensive midfielder was offered the chance to stay on at Roma and join the board of directors but stated that he is not looking to retire yet and instead wanted to expand his horizons by moving to Argentina.

He will officially be presented by Boca Juniors at a press conference on Monday and is expected to go straight into a side that is hoping to win back the Argentine Primera Division title from rivals Racing Club.

Boca are also in the hunt for the Copa Libertadores, South America's prestigious club competition and the addition of De Rossi give them extra motivation as they try to win the trophy for the first time since 2007.

A stalwart in the Italian capital

Having broken into the first team under manager Fabio Capello in 2003/04 season, Daniele De Rossi has gone onto become a household name on the continent.

Although he was unable to lift the Scudetto with his boyhood  (something they haven't done since 2001) he was a key component in the Roma team that lifted back to back Coppa Italia's in 2007 and 2008 as well as the Suppercoppa Italiana in 2007. 

His finest hour came at the 2006 World Cup, where he scored his country's third spot kick during the penalty shootout in the final against France to help Italy get their hands on the Jules Rimet trophy for the first time since 1982.

De Rossi made 117 caps for his country in all, also featuring prominently in three European Championships in 2008, 2012 and 2016, and also in another two World Cups in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil four years later. The veteran called it quits on international football after Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The "complete midfielder"

During the late noughties, De Rossi was regarded as the 'complete midfielder' and was seen as one of the finest players in Europe. His technical skills on the ball were more than matched by his physical prowess, as well as his vision and intelligence. 

De Rossi has also picked up a number of personal accolades throughout his career, most notably the Serie A Young Player of the Year in 2006, the Serie A Italian Player of the Year in 2009, as well as a place in the UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament in 2012.

He was able to further cement his iconic status at the start of the 2017/18 season when he was handed the club captaincy by another Roma great, the retiring Francesco Totti.

He led his side to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League and scored a penalty in the dramatic quarter-final second leg against Barcelona, where Roma overturned a 4-1 deficit from the first leg in Spain to progress to the semis on away goals after a 3-0 victory. 

In the final game of last season against Parma last May, De Rossi bid an emotional farewell to the club at the Stadio Olimpico as he was given a lap of honour around the pitch.

Daniele De Rossi may be winding down his playing career, but he will forever be a universally known name in European football.

His exploits have more than earned him the right to sit alongside the likes of Paolo Maldini, Gianluigi Buffon and Franco Baresi as not only one of the best players ever to pull on the Azzurri blue shirt, but also as one of the finest footballers of his generation.