Monday, June 18, 2018

Francesco Totti: Again and Again Against All Odds, Again Against Age

The King of Rome fighting all odds / Image via

The King of Rome fighting all odds / Image via

The storm raged on as Roma faced Sampdoria in an interrupted football occasion on Sunday afternoon.

Two weeks from his 40th birthday the evergreen captain of the Giallorossi, the Italian icon Francesco Totti was Roma’s ray of light. Once again, just like a countless times before.

Two decades of history

Francesco Totti’s career is a much storied journey of a football professional who served as a loyal soldier to his beloved club, city and country for the past 24 years. Over two decades at the forefront, leading his team through thick and thin.

From Golden Boy as the youngest-ever captain of the club to the King of Rome as the top goalscorer and the most capped player in the club’s history, Francesco Totti’s career at Roma shares a symbolic resemblance to the Sunday’s afternoon at Stadio Olimpico.

The 39-year-old Italian forward endured a difficult season under Luciano Spalletti, who failed at his effort to discard the captain on the notion that he is too old to contribute to his revolution at Roma.

Once again Totti proved his coach and all doubters for that matter wrong with his match winning performance in a 3-2 win over Sampdoria.

The hosts opened the game early on through Salah’s eighth-minute goal, but Doria climbed back on top thanks to Muriel and Quagliarella, forcing Roma to chase the result. Edin Dzeko made sure the hosts draw level, but Totti’s late penalty ultimately snatched all three points, bringing sunshine back in a rainy day.

Totti’s 93rd-minute goal was of particular historic significance as Roma captain has now scored in every Serie A season since the beginning of his career.

Patience, Dedication, Commitment

Totti’s road to glory has not been an easy one, but three of his main traits made him a club icon with a legacy that will hardly ever be eclipsed.

He is a man of blood and tears, of emotions good and bad, of thoughts that could have haunted him for the rest of his life. But Francesco Totti never had a dilemma when faced with a prospect of leaving his beloved club. Well, not until 2004 at least.

Roma captain admitted he had thought of leaving the capital club to join Real Madrid.

“When a very successful team, perhaps the strongest in the world, asks you to join, you start to think about what life might be like elsewhere. I had talks with the president of Roma, and that made a difference. But in the end, the talk I had with my family reminded me what life is about,” Totti recalled.

It certainly wasn’t the first time Totti was lured away from Giallorossi. But sometimes he even didn’t have to think about it.

The 39-year-old forward revealed that a chance to join AC Milan was presented to him, actually to his mother. Madam Totti vetoed the move after a meeting with Milan representatives who had knocked on the door of the family home when Francesco was a 12-year-old boy.

It wasn’t easy to say no to a lucrative offer that would have solved many of family’s problems, but with Roma coming just weeks later a dream was fulfilled.

Final Fling?

With his involvement being restricted to only 13 Serie A appearances last term, Francesco Totti’s future had been fairly uncertain.

After hurtful bumps in the road, Roma captain sat down with club president James Pallotta this summer and agreed on a one-year extension to his deal with Giallorossi, realizing his dream all over again.

Lack of European football and elimination at the hands of FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League playoff make little change in Totti’s Roma perspective with the club’s captain more eager than ever to end his Giallorossi journey with another Serie A title.

Both Roma and Totti together have been made to wait since 2001, when Roma were last crowned champions. Their fierce rivals Juventus are once again firm favourites, after five domestic crowns on the trot and even more with former Roma playmaker Miralem Pjanic, but Roma are eager to exploit Juve’s Champions League participation and use it in their favour.

Juventus open this year’s UCL account with a game against Sevilla they are given the odds of 4/7 to win, and here are some important statistical aspects for you to consider ahead of the Wednesday’s game:

As for Totti and Roma, Serie A has been their elusive dream for the last 15 years and there would be no fitter closure to a glorious career than a King and a crown.

Can Roma be a surprise package this season in Serie A?


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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