De Rossi mobbed after joining Boca Juniors

De Rossi subbed off for final time as Roma captain (0:45)

Daniele De Rossi walks off the pitch for the final time as the captain of AS Roma, after 17 years with the club. (0:45)

Boca Juniors have signed Italian veteran midfielder Daniele De Rossi, the club announced on Thursday.

De Rossi, 36, has joined the Argentinian giants as a free agent after leaving AS Roma in June following 18 years at the club.

Boca posted a video of De Rossi on Twitter with the message: "He is at La Boca!"

A World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, De Rossi was given a hero's welcome by a group of screaming Boca fans, who chanted a song in his honour as he landed at Buenos Aires airport in the early hours of Thursday.

A known Boca admirer, De Rossi underwent a medical before putting pen to paper on a short-term contract with the Xeneize. He then stepped onto the Bombonera pitch wearing a Boca jersey.

Boca coach Gustavo Alfaro spoke with great enthusiasm about the addition of a player of De Rossi's calibre. De Rossi, who earned 117 caps for Italy, scored 63 goals in 616 appearances for Roma.

"He will bring experience and hierarchy," Alfaro said in a news conference on Wednesday. "We want him to provide his hunger to win. He will arrive on Thursday and we will see how he is physically.

"We are adding a player that has a huge career and we want him to be one more in this group, that he dreams of winning everything with Boca."

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De Rossi revealed a few years back that it would be "a dream" to play for Boca, a team he grew fond of as a young boy while watching televised games that involved club legend Diego Maradona at La Bombonera.

Earlier this week, Maradona sent an audio message in Italian to De Rossi, welcoming him to the club and talking up the magnitude of his arrival.

De Rossi will be unveiled to the media on Monday and is expected to make his Boca debut on Aug. 2 away to Aldosivi in the second round of the Superliga.

The former Roma captain will not have to wait long to experience a Superclasico as Boca will face Buenos Aires rivals River Plate on Sept. 1 at the Monumental stadium in the fifth round of the domestic competition.