“They taught us in school that family is the most important thing, did you ever hear of someone leaving his poor parents to live with rich strangers.” No better quote than this is needed to indicate how loyal Francesco Totti is with his boyhood and hometown football club, AS Roma. None will question that as well. He is a cult symbol of loyalty and a terrific forward, and one of the best of his generation. When the veteran striker was substituted at Santiago Bernabéu last week in the second leg of UEFA Champions League Round of 16, everyone in the stands gave him a standing ovation. It was not only a sustained and enthusiastic appreciation for the legendary striker, but also a sincere form of thanks from the football world for what the Italian had done for the beautiful game.
It was reported sensationally in February that the 39-year-old is considering an exit from the club, due to lack of game time. With him at the sunset of his glorious career, it should be digested that Totti had played his last game in UEFA Champions League, not if another top club in Europe acquires his service, which is quite unlikely.
Totti has spent his entire career at AS Roma, and have won a Serie A title, two Coppa Italia titles, and two Supercoppa Italiana titles. Furthermore, he is the top goal scorer for the club and the most capped player in the club’s history. He has played 751 games for the club across all competitions, scoring 300 goals in the process. Definitely an achievement to flaunt.
It all began for Totti, when a shy Italian boy debuted for AS Roma against Brescia. However, it took young Totti another year to score his first goal, as his first goal in Roma colours salvaged a draw against Foggia. Bohemian Zeman is a name which should be purposely attached to the onset of Totti’s career. He rejuvenated the skills of Totti, polished and moulded his football brain, which has shone throughout his career. In 1998, at the age of 22, Totti became the youngest captain for Roma.
Nothing needs to be spoken about the goal scoring tally of the genius, though his position in pitch varied over the course of his career. He began his career as an attacking midfielder as his vision and strength helped him to run at defences and provide key passes into the final third. Spaletta and Montelli, the other coaches who managed Roma saw his flair as a striker and deployed him as a striker. But later he also proved himself as a left winger as well.
But like all things should come to an end, the envious career of Totti is also coming to end, though no official statement has yet been released from neither the club or the player about retirement or transfer. But it should be digested that player has almost past his time at football, and it is inevitable to thank Il Gladiatore for his tremendous contribution to the club, Italy and to football.