De Rossi: I am nearing the end for Italy and Roma

The midfielder is honoured to be among the legends of the Italian game, like Dino Zoff and Andrea Pirlo, but says it will soon be time to call a hault

Roma star Daniele De Rossi says he could retire from football in 2019 and does not expect to be playing for Italy beyond next year's World Cup.

De Rossi is part of Italy's squad to play Uruguay in a friendly in Nice on Wednesday and will pass Dino Zoff for outright fifth in the Azzurri's list of most capped players on 113 if he plays.

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The midfielder, 33, signed a new two-year deal with Roma last week and thinks he is nearing the end for club and country, even though Rome is a host venue for Euro 2020.

"Let's first get to the World Cup, and then in 2018 I will be 35 and I could even bid farewell to the Azzurri shirt," De Rossi told reporters.

"It is a real honour for me to go beyond Zoff, soon it will be Andrea Pirlo, so we are talking about legends of Italian football.

Daniele De Rossi Italy

"I will be 34 in a couple of months and I'm absolutely certain that I could be an important player for the World Cup. 

"But if I think of 2020, I would be 37 years old, so you have to be realistic. If I'm needed I will always be there, but I consider the World Cup to be my final experience [for Italy].

"This contract I have just signed could be the last contract of my footballing career."

De Rossi expressed sadness at the departure of Roma boss Luciano Spalletti, who is set to be named as Inter head coach, but dismissed reports that emerged prior to his contract extension suggesting he could also move to San Siro.

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"It doesn't bother me at all that I'm not going to Inter, because I never was an Inter player," he said.

"I have always worn the same shirt, and it would be a bit strange to see me wearing a different one of any colour.

"I'm sorry [he's gone] because he's a great coach I had a strong bond with. I hope that he doesn't show 100 percent of how good he is at Inter because they are going to be our rivals for the top places next year."

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