Francesco Totti: 'I'd Rather Die Than Leave Roma'
Francesco Totti has described leaving Roma as worse than dying after announcing his departure today.
Roma's greatest ever player took on a role upstairs after hanging up his boots in 2017 but it has not gone to plan and in a press conference today, "Il Capitano" slammed management within the club.
But while he stressed his unhappiness at how his spell as a director panned out, leaving his beloved Giallorossi still hurts the 42-year old.
"If I were to return to Roma, we'd need a new owner," Totti said in a press conference, as per Football Italia.
"First and foremost. If the new owners believed in me, then that would be great.
"What I can say is that I will never hurt Roma. This is far worse than retiring as a player. Leaving Roma is like dying. I feel like it'd be better if I died.
"So many have told me over the years that I am too much of a weight on this club. That I get in the way."
Totti's main factor in leaving Roma is the fact he felt he never felt involved and that his opinion was never of use.
"Many things made me think about this. I was never allowed to participate, they called me in to I think 10 meetings over two years. They'd always call me at the last minute, as if they were trying to keep me out. After a while, that starts to really weigh on you.
"It shows a lack of respect not for a director, but for a person. I tried to bring something to this club, but I saw the thought process on the other side was different.
"They knew my intentions and what I wanted, to give so much to this club and team, but they never wanted me to, in all honesty. They excluded me from every decision.
"The rapport with Franco Baldini (technical director) has never existed and never will. If I made this decision, it's only normal that there were misunderstandings, problems within the club."
Having joined as a youngster in 1989 Roma went on to score 307 goals in 786 appearances spread across 25 seasons in Serie A.
When Totti pulled on the Roma shirt for the final time two years back, he was overcome with emotion as the long-time skipper waved goodbye to the Stadio Olimpico crowd.
20 years ago today, Francesco Totti was named captain of Roma :crown:- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 1, 2018
He kept the armband for 19 years :clap:
His farewell was an emotional one...pic.twitter.com/cFx7W772AL
Daniele De Rossi, his fellow one-club man, was given a similar send-off last month after playing his final game and Totti went as far saying Roma's owners don't want Romans involved in the running of the club.
Totti said: "In these 8 years, the Americans have tried all the ways to set us Roman legends apart from Roma.
"I was never involved in a genuine technical project.
"In the first year, that can happen. In the second, I realised what I wanted to do and we never got together, never helped each other.
"One of us had to go. I stepped aside because you can't have too many people sticking their oar in and causing chaos. Everyone should do their own job and leave the others to get on with their own work, that'd allow everything to run smoothly."