It may be a reality none of us want to prepare for, but Francesco Totti is edging steadily towards retirement, with his new one-year contract at Roma likely to be the last one 'Il Gladiatore' signs as a professional footballer.
Totti will turn 40 in September, entering what will, remarkably, be his 25th season at the Stadio Olimpico and during the most recent campaign it looked for a time that differences between him and Luciano Spalletti would lead to the iconic captain departing the Italian capital, with New York Cosmos reportedly readying an offer for the World Cup winner's services. However, Totti's heroics as football's most glamorous super sub, scoring four goals in his last six games of the season, swayed Roma's hierarchy towards offering him a new deal, which, as well as maintaining the 'Giallorossi's' greatest ever player for another year also reveals what Totti's post-retirement career will be.
Football Italia have reported that Totti's new deal includes a six-year contract as Roma's Technical Director. Discussing his new role with Roma TV, Totti said, "I'm very happy, because after this year as a player I have another six years as a director. As I've always said to the President [James Pallotta] and the club, I'd prefer to have a very specific role as technical director. They've agreed and I'm very grateful."
During the interview, Totti also had a message for the Roma fans, specifically the Curva Sud:
"There's not much more to say, I've had 25 years of big displays of affection - I've said it all and more. I've always shown great love for them, and it's a mutual thing.
"The Curva Sud? For everyone - me, the squad, the club - I really hope they'll return and take their place as soon as possible, because with them behind us we could give 101 per cent more."
"Without them it makes it a bit more difficult for everyone. I hope I can spend my last year with them and we can celebrate together.
"I hope I can win my second Scudetto with Roma."
We can only pray that a 40 year old Totti is lifting the Serie A trophy, next May. Before setting a Lazio flag alight in the centre circle of the Olimpico, presumably. It's the only logical way he can bow out.
(H/T Football Italia)
- When Francesco Totti Wanted To Miss A Penalty In His Final Roma Game
- 45-Year-Old Francesco Totti Scores FOUR Absolute Worldies Playing Eight-A-Side, He's A Joke Of A Player
- Francesco Totti Once Took An Outrageous Penalty In A Euro Semi Final Against Netherlands
- Paulo Dybala Explains Why He Turned Down AS Roma's No.10 Shirt In Great Show Of Respect