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 By Ben Gladwell

Daniele De Rossi may retire from playing after Roma contract ends

Daniele De Rossi has said he does not expect to play beyond the end of his Roma contract in 2019 and could join Gianluigi Buffon in retiring from international duty after the 2018 World Cup.

Italy international De Rossi inherits the captain's armband from Buffon when he leads Italy out for a friendly against Uruguay in Nice on Wednesday night.

The 33-year-old, who committed to a new deal at Roma last week, told a news conference: "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.

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

De Rossi signed the deal amid reports that he would follow Luciano Spalletti to Inter Milan, but said: "It doesn't bother me at all that I'm not going to Inter, because I never was an Inter player.

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

He said Spalletti would be a loss to Roma, adding: "I'm sorry [he's gone] because he's a coach I had a strong bond with. I hope that he doesn't show 100 percent of what he can do at Inter because they are going to be our rivals next year."

Meanwhile, Italy coach Giampiero Ventura distanced himself from rumours linking him with the Chinese Super League after the World Cup, telling a news conference: "There's nothing to explain.

"If it were a definite interest then of course I would be flattered, but I am the coach of the Italy national team and we have a project in place which envisages a change of generation.

"I think it's only logical that I should carry this forward -- in fact, we have even discussed already taking it through to the next European Championship.

"I am proud to coach this national team and to represent Italy, one of the three or four best nations in the world."

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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