Born and raised a Roma supporter, De Rossi reveals he originally turned the club down.
“My experience at my first club Ostia Mare was important. It was already quite a high level there, but I had a lot of fun.
“Roma came to get me when I was nine years old and I didn’t want to go, as I was too happy with my friends in Ostia Mare. Instead I went at 11-12. I still live in the Ostia area and retain special affection for the place.
“My move to the Roma first team was gradual. I remember with great emotion my first day at Roma, the difference between Ostia Mare and this club with its kit, facilities and new boots. It was almost like stepping into a different football world.”
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