totti2Francesco Totti made his debut for Roma on 28 March 1993 at just 16 and he played in his hometown club his entire 24-year career, under 18 different managers. A true one-club man. Roma’s new sporting director Monchi confirmed, during a press conference on Wednesday, that this would be Totti’s last season as a player. “I already knew that there was an agreement with the club that this would be his final year as a player, then he’d start as a director” Monchi said. “Francesco is Roma, I want to be as close to him as possible. I’d love to learn even 1% of the huge amount that he knows.” Indeed, Mauro Baldissoni, Roma’s general manager, had told reporters before the kick-off of last week derby against Lazio – which Roma won with a score of 3-1 – that Totti has a six-year contract to serve as a club director waiting for him, “so he’ll get to live many more derbies, only they’ll be off the pitch”.

The 40-year-old midfielder, who has made more than 600 appearances for the club since his debut in 1993, will play his last match on Sunday, May 28 against Genoa at the Stadio Olimpico. During his 24 years with Roma, he has won two Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia and two Supercoppa. Appearing for his country at all levels from under-15, Totti scored nine goals in 58 senior appearances for Italy before his retirement from international football in 2006, after winning the World Cup in Germany.

Totti has not confirmed himself that he is ending his career at the end of the season, and when asked whether Sunday’s one had been his last derby, the veteran midfielder said that it was not up to him and that “other people” were making those claims.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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