Afscheidsmatch Totti: the end of romance

Francesco Totti plays soccer Sunday in a sold-out Olympic Stadium, last match ever for AS Roma, for which he was 25 years as a pro played. Series A-connoisseur Geert Foutré muses at the farewell of an icon.

This season there were Anderlechtspelers who more deserved than Francesco Totti at AS Roma. © belgaimage

There are still six minutes to go in AC Milan-AS Roma, when Romatrainer Luciano Spalletti with a 1-3-ahead his last substitution made. When Bruno Peres the field increases, flute San Siro Peres and Spalletti. The visiting supporters sing: “C’è solo un capitano.’ The cameras zoom in on Francesco Totti on the bench wry laughs. For the kick-off got Totti from the Milanaanhang a standing ovation, in the Curva Sud hung a banner: “The Zuidtribune honors its rival Francesco Totti.’

Spalletti curses. Then you have Roma’s for the first time since 1954-55 four times to win in all league games of the season against the Milan rivals, and then you get this.

Also at the press conference is not about the victory, or the fact that AS Roma have a view on the title that it since 2001, not won. It goes to one man.

Why, everyone wants to know, Spalletti Totti’t let raids that last six minutes in a 1-3-ahead? ‘Because I don’t feel free,” defends the coach of AS Roma. ‘I already have so many matches to be polite, where in the final two goals to fall. Next time we will select the team with everyone together. If I Francesco five minutes late to show up, you will say, perhaps, that I was giving him ridiculous make. Maybe I’m the only one who sees, and you have the same. It’s all my fault, and I’m doing it wrong. When I returned to Rome I’ve been asked: don’t give me the lead of a myth and a piece of history, but about the player Totti. I really don’t know anymore what I should do. Here it is always about the same topic. In Palermo, I wanted to let him play, but he had trouble with his back. The poor guy trains for a whole week and wants to play on Sundays, but we will fight for the second place. If we do not get, I get everything and everyone over me. I’m sorry for Francesco, because at training he still does fantastic things.”

A week later, beating AS Roma and convincing Juventus. In the 91st minute Totti still one minute raids. At the press conference will Spalletti again, questions about Totti. ‘Now I leave him to do raids and he is again angry.’

Francesco Totti © Belga Image

Already a year, it seems as if Spalletti are only concerned with the long farewell of his star player. In september, he at a press conference seventeen questions. Ten go about Totti. Spalletti is also angry: “Francesco is a wrong way to Roma down. The club is crap, the board is bad, the trainer also. No one here is crap. He is a fantastic footballer, but Roma will not win if we only think of him.’

Sunday will see a sold out Olympic Stadium in Rome, Totti for the last to work. With him disappears the romance from the professional football. A player who never of club changes, that no longer fits in this modern world of football where it comes to transfers and contracts.

How can you use such a name, year after year, less and less money and yet blissfully happy? This season there were Anderlechtspelers that more like he, the captain, who throughout his career of 26 years, only two times close to a transfer, was one time when a trainer Ottavo Bianchi him on loan to Sampdoria and Totti to the then president, said: “it is he, or I, and Bianchi then should have. And one time when he was on the verge of his other favorite club, Real Madrid, to sign, but didn’t want to be with his family from his beloved Rome to go away.

A lazy Roman

Now Totti stops, will the phone less often ringing when Ruggiero Rizzitelli.Over the past few years, the former striker who nine times for the national team came out several calls a year, only to once again to tell how he 28th of march 1993, in minute 87 of the match Brescia-AS Roma trainer Vujadin Boskov of the field was for Totti who, as at sixteen, his first speelminuten got in first class. Boskov had the young striker the day before the work is seen with the promises to him and to the rest of the field is reached, right on the bus with the first team on the road to Brescia. And now does the trainer sign to fall. Totti is not moving. ‘Hey,’ says Roberto Muzzi sitting next to him, ” he has it against you!’

The season then brings Carlo Mazzone him for the first time at the kick-off against Sampdoria. After the match he says to Totti when they are located in the press room offers: ‘you can Go have a shower, boy.” His second father, called Totti to him recently, and the man who prevented him from the dangers of a big city such as Rome. Mazzone, in 1995: “The Roman teams are stifled under a too great love. Do two good things, and the people running the legs under their body for you. Fame, women, money, is all waiting for you. The problem is that the line between a bold Roman and a flabby Roman is very thin. That’s why we have so many champions lost. Francesco seems to me like a brave Roman. For him I stick my hand in the fire. But first, I need him for the temptation to warn: the step to a flabby Roman is fast.”


In 1986 takes the ten-year-old Totti with his ploegje Smit Trastevere part in a youth tournament in AS Roma. The former youth coordinator Ermenegildo Giannini has a famous son who is captain of AS Roma. Midfielder Giuseppe Giannini would be 47 times for the Squadra play and is the man who, when Totti prof is, about him will be taken care of. The young talent is dad Giannini tipped by Armando Trillo, Totti’s first-ever coach at his first ploegje Were. “But the family already had their word given to, she has brought out and because we respect the proper attitude of those people, we didn’t insisted.’ When she has brought out plays talent as an attacking midfielder, but the number 10 in that position will hear, he will not: “That he is not more important to feel than the other players,” say his coaches.


Almost slipping away he AS Roma and he goes to the nemesis. In a youth tournament on January 6, 1988 is correct Lodigiano Lazio in the final with 2-0. When Lazio plays a talent: Alessandro Nesta,also a born Roman, and is today one of the best friends of Totti. From that moment, the blue-whites heavily interested in that blonde boy. Lazio calls, and one day be the parents, the spelertje and his brother were invited into the office of the president, she has brought out that them report that they have to choose between Lazio and AS Roma. That’s not a difficult choice, because the Totti’s are all generations Romafans.

Twenty-nine years later, Totti, when he’s riding through the streets to his children explaining why he was on some walls in Rome, and painted. Since last season, he is on his farewell tour in progress. That runs earlier than he wanted, but according to the plan that AS Roma a few years ago with him up: playing football until his 40th and then started working as a director at the club. Trainer, he will never, he confirmed recently in an interview: “That’s not for me, only with 30 players, all of which are prepared in want to be and get attention… No, trainer I’ll never be. It is not in my character.”

Fabio Capello,with whom AS Roma in the 2001 champion, had not expected that Totti for so long would doorvoetballen: ‘Honestly? No, I thought he was on a physical plane not so long would hold out. He came quickly in terms of weight. His marriage to his career lengthened, his wife has taught him to take care of.’ Twelve years ago, married Totti with tv presenter Ilary Blasi. What it is concerned, it was love at first sight. For her it was not so.’

But football, that he could, like no other, says Zdenek Zeman , who him twice trained at AS Roma and him on the 20th the kapiteinsband home. Asked about the five best Italian players that he knows, says Zeman spontaneously: ‘Totti, Totti, Totti, Totti and Totti.’


Totti collected, not without self-mockery, the jokes about him as not very bright, and Roman dialect-speaking football player of the round did. ‘Tutte le Barzellette su Totti raccolte da me’ were such a success that there are six books appeared. The proceeds went entirely to Unicef, where he has since 2003 ambassador for.

What for jokes that are?

Genre: Totti must go to a party in the evening. On-the-spot come, he sees a sign that says: ‘No smoking.’ Quickly he drives his Porsche back into the house, pulling his tuxedo out and does a sporty jacket.

That kind of stuff.

You know why Totti of those kinds of jokes?

He must be there three times to laugh.

The first time he hears them. Then again, when someone to explain to him, and a third time, as he finally understands.

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