Legendary midfielder Daniele De Rossi is determined to bring success to Roma in what could be his final season with his boyhood club.
De Rossi has only played for Roma in his 15-year professional club career, racking up over 500 appearances in all competitions, but he has just two Coppa Italia titles to show for it, having finished second in Serie A seven times.
Roma captain and De Rossi’s close friend Francesco Totti, another one-club man is also likely to retire at the end of the campaign, having earned a new contract last season with a string of inspirational substitute performances.
Though De Rossi’s future could still remain at the Stadio Olimpico, he is using his contract’s expiration as motivation for the impending campaign.
“The contract? I’m calm, because I’m not thinking whether or not it will be my last year of the contract,” he told reporters in the United States as Roma prepare to face Liverpool in the International Champions Cup.
“These are conversations that I must have with my family, sooner or later I’ll have to think about it, but not now.
“But it could also be the last season, so why not make it the most beautiful of my career?
“Now I have to forget about it. My goal is to have a great season.
“I do not think now about what I will do, a mature player must be in step with his physique and every decision we’ll take will be taken with clear thought.”
Juventus have won the last five Scudetti and the signing of last season’s Serie A top scorer Gonzalo Higuain from runners-up Napoli has done little to suggest that Massimiliano Allegri’s men will be stopped in their pursuit of a sixth straight title.
But De Rossi says a recent trend of underdog victories elsewhere in Europe can inspire his side in 2016-17.
“Sometimes in football the stronger club doesn’t win, but other clubs win,” he added. “We have the examples of Portugal and Leicester City.”
“We have to work hard and don’t think about Juventus or Napoli players, but only of our matches.”