Buenos Aires: World Cup-winning Italian veteran Daniele De Rossi said he cannot wait to play in the iconic Bombonera stadium as he was unveiled by new club Boca Juniors on Monday.
The 36-year-old midfielder has signed a one-year contract with the Argentine giants after bringing down the curtain on his 18-year Roma career at the end of last season.
He was cheered wildly when presented to fans at the Bombonera stadium and given the number 16 shirt – the same as he wore at Roma.
"If you love football, if you like great stadiums full of passion, no-one should deny themselves an experience like this," he said when asked if he had a message for footballers in Europe.
Boca are one of the most successful sides not just in Argentina but the whole of South America.
They have been Argentine champions 33 times, bettered only by historic rivals River Plate with 36, and won the Copa Libertadores – the continental equivalent of the Champions League – six times, just once less than fellow-Argentines Independiente who lead with seven.
"My aim is the same as Boca's ... to win the Libertadores, win the league. From what I've heard it's to win everything," said De Rossi, who helped Italy claim the 2006 World Cup during a 117-cap career.
While many former Boca players – such as Diego Maradona, Walter Samuel and Carlos Tevez – have gone on to enjoy successful careers in Italy, De Rossi is the first major Italian star to play for the Buenos Aires outfit.
De Rossi said he was looking forward to playing in "a stimulating atmosphere, because that stimulus is the most important thing for me since I live football 24 hours a day. It's like it devours me, it eats me up: I don't want somewhere that will turn me off."
Updated Date: Jul 30, 2019 13:14:12 IST