Daniele De Rossi is due to become Roma’s new interim manager until the end of the 2023-24 season.
A lot has changed since De Rossi was forced away from the club as a player back in 2019, but there are still some players at the club who he previously shared a pitch with.
Here are those he will be rekindling his connections with.
Stephan El ShaarawyEmbed from Getty Images
De Rossi and Stephan El Shaarawy both left Roma in the same summer back in 2019, despite being two of the club’s better performers in the turbulent season that had just concluded.
There was obviously more sadness for De Rossi’s departure than El Shaarawy’s, but that’s not to say the winger wasn’t missed in his own ways too.
For much of his subsequent time in China, El Shaarawy seemed eager to return to Roma. He got his wish in January 2021 and has since embedded himself into club history further.
In fact, at the time of writing, he is just three goals away from matching De Rossi’s all-time tally for the club.
Lorenzo PellegriniEmbed from Getty Images
When De Rossi left Roma, the baton was passed to Alessandro Florenzi as Roma’s homegrown captain, but the full-back was approaching the end of his time in the capital too.
He was succeeded by Edin Dzeko, before Lorenzo Pellegrini became Roma’s captain in 2021, restoring the tradition of the club being led by one of their own.
As a midfielder, Pellegrini has tried to follow in De Rossi’s footsteps, but they are tactically different types of players.
Nevertheless, they have a personal and professional understanding; it was next to De Rossi that Pellegrini made his Italy debut while still playing for Sassuolo, before earning his return to Roma ahead of Daniele’s final two seasons.
Leandro ParedesEmbed from Getty Images
Like El Shaarawy, Leandro Paredes is a player who returned to Roma for a second spell.
Previously, he was brought to the club as a youngster and, after some time out on loan, earned his breakthrough in the 2016-17 season, when he often partnered De Rossi in defensive midfield.
Paredes was sold in the summer of 2017, but six years later earned a return to Roma from Paris Saint-Germain.
In doing so, he took the number 16 shirt, becoming the first person to wear it since De Rossi himself.
Bryan CristanteEmbed from Getty Images
“He’s not a Romanista. But I would want another hundred guys like him, who put the soul into training and on the pitch.”
Those were the famous words of De Rossi at his farewell press conference in 2019, referring to Bryan Cristante, when asked about the passion within the club going forward.
Cristante had struggled to make an impression in his debut season after arriving from Atalanta and would still take time to develop, but De Rossi’s words turned out to be somewhat prophetic.
His compatriot has gone on to become one of Roma’s vice-captains and most reliable players.
Such was the frequency of his injury issues, you could be forgiven for forgetting Rick Karsdorp ever played with De Rossi.
But between 2017 and 2019, Karsdorp shared a pitch six times with Roma’s captain of the time.
He also left in the same summer as De Rossi, returning to Feyenoord on loan. But since his reintegration, Karsdorp has earned more regular appearances – when not being dismissed by Jose Mourinho, that is.
Mourinho and Karsdorp eventually made up, but now the Dutchman’s fate on the pitch will be in De Rossi’s hands.
Andrea BelottiEmbed from Getty Images
De Rossi’s international career with Italy ended in 2017 at the grand sum of 117 caps.
Nine of those came while then-Torino striker Andrea Belotti was on the pitch too.
In fact, Belotti was the player who made the assist for De Rossi’s last competitive goal for his country, against Albania in March 2017.
Belotti went on to join Roma from Torino in 2022, but has struggled to live up to the standards of the step up.
Leonardo SpinazzolaEmbed from Getty Images
Like Belotti and Cristante, Leonardo Spinazzola was a member of the Italy squad that won Euro 2020, while De Rossi was on Roberto Mancini’s coaching staff.
There were memorable images of De Rossi propping up Spinazzola during celebrations after the final, since the wing-back was on crutches after his devastating injury in the quarter-finals.
De Rossi and Spinazzola had previously earned three caps together for Italy, all in 2017.
Spinazzola joined Roma in the summer that De Rossi left, but faces an uncertain future himself now as he is into the final six months of his contract.