'Proud' De Rossi steps down from Italy duty

by 6d ago
Catherine Ivill / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Following Italy's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Roma stalwart Daniele De Rossi announced his retirement from international football.

"My adventure here ends. It's sad to think this was the last time I will wear these colours. But I couldn't be more proud of the journey, everyone I've played alongside," De Rossi said Monday.

Related: Italy misses out on World Cup for 1st time since 1958 as Sweden qualifies

The circumstances could've been better. De Rossi, 34, was an unused substitute as the Azzurri drew Sweden 0-0 in Milan, meaning Italy lost 1-0 on aggregate and was denied a World Cup berth for the first time since 1958. The scapegoat for Italy's performance during World Cup qualification is undoubtedly Gian Piero Ventura, and on one occasion De Rossi appeared to disagree with his national team manager's decisions when he seemed to gesture for Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne's introduction from the bench.

De Rossi calls time on his Italy career with a World Cup winners medal from 2006 and eight tournament appearances overall, including the two Confederations Cup jaunts. He is also fourth on Italy's appearance list with 117 caps.