Totti won't quit just yet: 'I'm ready for a new challenge'
Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi
In true Francesco Totti fashion, the veteran striker submitted an ode to Roma ahead of his last match for the Giallorossi on Sunday – but ended it with an unexpected announcement.
Related: Roma legend Francesco Totti playing final season for club
At the ripe old age of 40, Totti has vowed to stay in the game, declaring: “From Monday I’m ready to go again. I’m ready for a new challenge.”
The general presumption when new Roma sporting director Monchi revealed it was the beginning of the Totti farewell tour at the start of May was that the one-club man would hang up his boots. He’s started just one Serie A match this campaign, with 16 further appearances coming from the bench.
The pressure to field Totti in front of his adoring fans – both those in imperial purple and golden yellow, and the supporters of the other team – had led manager Luciano Spalletti to say he “would never have come to coach Roma” if he knew of the constant questions he’d face on the forward’s future.
Now, after 58-time Italian international’s romantic pledge of loyalty to football, there’s a greater likelihood of Spalletti comprising plans to stop the versatile attacker rather than play him following Sunday’s visit from Genoa.
“I just feel that my love for football never fades: it’s a passion, my passion,” Totti wrote. “It’s so deep I can’t imagine not fuelling it any longer. Ever.”
Totti has amassed 785 professional appearances for Roma since making his debut under Vujadin Boskov in 1993. Through outings as a lone forward, No. 10, false nine, second striker, on the wing, or as an inside-forward, he’s scored 307 goals and recorded 197 assists.