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Francesco Totti – A legend of the game

Tuesday 17th January 2017
News that saddened a footballing world circled in the Media last week, Francesco Totti is going to retire at the end of this season.

The Roma legend is now 40 and has been with The Eternal Club for most of his life, 25 years, and has now decided to call it a day on his playing career, retiring a true legend of the game and a name that is firmly embedded as one of the greats of Football.

A one-club man, Francesco Totti was born in Roma in 1976 and signed for the Serie A outfit in 1989, making his debut aged 17 in 1993 and currently in his 28th season with his hometown club, his 24th as a professional first team player. Staggering.
There is no doubt that Totti is one of the European Footballing Greats and, based on his first touch, finesse on the ball and plethora of skilful goals, one of the finest players this planet has ever seen. He has been Roma's captain since 1998 and scored over 300 goals in under 650 appearances. However, it was a lifelong partnership of admiration between fan, club and player that nearly never happened.

Totti was ‘mightily close' to agreeing a teenage deal with Roma's bitter Italian rivals AC Milan, before his mother sensationally intervened and told the Milan officials that her son was to ‘join Roma and stay there for his footballing career, so leave him alone' – something that he ended up doing – an amazing story.

His incredible goalscoring record is impeccable, having scored over 250 goals as an attacking midfielder which boasts a larger tally than some Italian striking greats such as Alessandro Del Piero, Roberto Baggio and Gabriel Batistuta, only Silvio Piola outscoring the ex-Italian International – and he retired in 1954.

Totti was instrumental in the Italian's World Cup win in Germany in 2006. Captaining his side and playing every match of the tournament, contributing four assists during the campaign and scoring the high-pressure crucial penalty against Australia in the second round he was cemented as a protagonist in the victorious National side.

So rare it is that a player of his stature and quality stayed at one club his whole life he speaks openly about his commitment to Roma ‘Rome is my family, my friends, the people that I love. Rome is the sea, the mountains, the monuments. This club, this city, has been my life' The Soul Of Roma, as he is aptly named amongst the Romans, is a fitting tag for a player who could have moved for more glory and money.

Real Madrid tried to lure him to the Bernabeu in 2005 however, they were politely ushered away and many a time did Manchester United come-a-knocking, with Sir Alex Ferguson speaking openly of his admiration for the Italian legend and how a strong desire of his in 1999 and 2000 was to lure Totti to Old Trafford.

Both teams were unsuccessful which has perhaps, dampened his name and greatness in the English and Spanish media, however, he has made it clear that he judges himself on what he has achieved and given back to the Romans, of whom he calls his ‘own people'.

Overall, a glittering career, unbeatable stats which are second to none and an absolute legend, icon and role model to any player anywhere in the world of football. A great of the game, there are not enough superlatives to praise him, Francesco Totti take a bow.
Jack Read
Opinionated Football fan from Manchester. Venting my frustrations via means of Writing online.

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