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Balzaretti salutes the fans: 'There is nothing like Roma'

Ciao Roma,

Just writing this gives me a lump in my throat. In amongst all the conflicting emotions I’m feeling, it is a real melancholy that prevails right now - because my time at this club, a club that I have loved so deeply from the first day I wore the famous Roma shirt, is now over.

I chose this place because Roma is about passion, because Roma is about challenging yourself, because Roma turns you into a man.

I chose this place because there is nothing like Roma.

After seven years, I would like to say thank you to the people of Rome for the way they welcomed my family and me; to the fans for appreciating me as a player and more recently as part of the backroom staff - but, above all, as a person absolutely in love with this team.

Those not from Rome can still represent Roma and everything it stands for too: I was born in Turin, but I feel deeply connected to this city and this club.

We have been bound by a magical moment, a magical goal, a magical race and those magical tears. They were the tears of Roma as a whole and the most wonderful thing is knowing that we were all united as one at that moment.

I'd like to thank each and every one of my team-mates. I devoted my playing career to Roma, and want to say thanks to every coach I worked for and with over those seven years: from Zdenek Zeman to Claudio Ranieri, thank you to all of you.

Thank you to all the people I've met during my time at Trigoria, to the people who work at the training ground every day and make it such a special place. I've felt at home since day one thanks to all of you.

A special word of thanks to every youngster I've worked with over the last four years. I love you all and hope that at least one piece of advice from me has stayed with you, that something I've shared you'll carry with you on your exciting paths. I'll always be there for you.

Seeing youngsters play a key role for Roma, elsewhere in Italy or in major leagues abroad, makes me proud of you and the journey we've been on together. I'm there with you for every goal, sprint, struggle, disappointment and happy moment.

I'd also like to thank all the clubs and agents of these youngsters whom we've negotiated with. Thank you for your professionalism, availability, collaboration and mutual trust.

Thank you to all the people who've taught me something and helped me develop professionally - as well as giving me significant responsibilities. We've achieved some historic and unforgettable targets together. I'm thinking about Rudi Garcia's incredible first season in charge, the record-breaking campaign under Luciano Spalletti, and the night when we reached the Champions League semi-finals.

Of course, all the members of management who carved out this path come to mind: among them Mauro, Guido, Walter, Ricky and Monchi, the directors I worked with.

A special thank you goes to Francesco Vallone and Massimo Tarantino. Together we shared so many journeys, so many 05:00 alarms, stop-overs, days spent talking about football, creating a structure, trying to improve this club and take it forward - always with the honesty and passion that make great people like you stand out.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the way you all embraced me. I'm sorry that I was unable to say goodbye in person. I'd like you to imagine me out there right now, in the middle of the pitch, symbolically embracing every one of you: starting from the legendary Curva Sud and heading through every section of the Stadio Olimpico.

I'd like to finish up with one final, special note of gratitude: Thank you to the president, my president, for treating me like a son when I was struck down by a groin injury that just wouldn't go away.

Thank you for never abandoning me.

I don't know what the future holds just yet. I'll evaluate what is best with my fantastic family – first of all for them, but also for me. They come before everything else and always will do.

One thing is for sure: I'll miss you all. In fact, I think I already do.

Thank you, Roma. Maybe we'll see each other again one day.

With all my love,


Federico

 
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