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Totti: The King of Rome

Wednesday 28th September 2016
If you're a football fan then surely you might have heard the name ‘Totti' or some of you might have watched his famous ‘sucking thumb' celebration at some point. And for those in Italy Totti needs no introduction. As he reaches his 40th birthday, let's have a glimpse of his glorious career.
A teenage boy's dream came true in 1993 when he was called up for the senior team at Roma after spending three years in the club's youth team. He didn't take much time to be a regular, within next two seasons he was scoring and creating goals.

By 1998 at the age of 22, he was given captain's armband that made him the youngest Serie A club captain ever. He emerged as a No.10 scoring 30 goals and providing 26 assists during 1997-1998 seasons and won Serie A young footballer of the year in 1998-99 season.

The beginning of the 21st century was a hallmark of Totti's career. Newly assigned coach Fabio Capello started using Totti as a creative midfielder. The deadly trio of Totti, Montella and Batistuta ended the wait for the Serie A title at Roma. And to this date that is the only league title Roma won in Totti's era. However, he has many more accolades attached to his name.

Not only he is a club hero, he's been a star with Azzurri's too. He guided Italy to Euro 2000 final and despite Italy lost to France Totti was named the man of the match. Later in 2006, he won the World cup with Italy beating France in the final which was Totti's last international match.

So far, Totti has won a Serie A title, two Coppa Italia, and two Supercoppa Italiana. Believe me, he could've added more trophies to his name easily if he moved away to elite clubs. But he chose his childhood club and that's what makes him different and special from others.

Totti may not be the most decorated player but he is the role model of commitment. He is about to complete his 25th season in AS Roma shirt. That's more than 25% of the club's existence! Totti doesn't have any regrets about his career as he once said in a famous quote-

“No, none at all. I might have had the chance to win much more with other teams, but I am proud of what I've done with this jersey. No victory with another jersey would have given me the same emotions that this one has given me as captain.”

Totti is known for his vision, defence splitting passes, layoffs, through balls and of course his thumb sucking celebration. Throughout his career he has played in a variety of positions, be it the No. 10 role or the false 9, he can play almost anywhere ranging from mid to forward position.
He is regarded as a club hero by Roma fans, also respected by the bitter rival Lazio fans and adored worldwide.

We live in a very fast-paced world where all of us want instant results. Where not only fans but clubs owner also became impatient sometimes. And players often get carried away by lucrative offers and leave their club thinking grass might be greener the other side. Yes, today transfers have become an integral part of the game yet there are always some exceptions. Totti is one among them. Players like him come once in a generation, who spend their entire career in the same jersey.

He is set to hang his boots at the end of the current season. It will be very hard to understand the mental state of Roma fans and him when he will call it a day.

We should consider ourselves lucky to have watched him in his prime and should enjoy watching him while still, we can.
Zaid Pathan

A huge fan of Peter Drury's bombastic post-goal narration and an ardent football follower since his teens, Zaid believes the beautiful game is the best mode of escape from the daily hustle and bustle. He particularly loves to watch the Premier League and wants English clubs to dominate Europe again.

Life may or may not be beautiful, but football surely is.

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