In a disappointing but not wholly unfamiliar scenario, European football is about to lose one of the last remaining specimen of a species going extinct.
Francesco Totti spent 23 years of his life and career dedicated to one football club and his glorified life as an utter professional has been downsized to a mere soap opera, unworthy of a Prince, or a King.
The Italian living legend is a man of many qualities and one of them is that Totti was never afraid to show emotion.
His emotions are pure, but have often cost him dearly. Such is the case this season when sitting on the bench of his beloved club became too big of a burden, sparking an emotional outburst and some might say a rash decision to leave the club at the end of the season.
On their part, the club should have arguable done something to prevent the masquerade, but Luciano Spalletti opted for a more dramatic approach in turning against the club captain for a sickening outcome.
The newly appointed coach has used Francesco Totti sparingly, but it was their off-pitch relationship that has added to the chaos behind the scenes. Reported bust-ups and conflicts have put the King under spotlight for the wrong reasons and it is due time that the soap opera is finished.
The captain has made his move.
Francesco Totti released a statement calling for unity, insisting that he does not mean to divide, but to do the opposite.
Having come off the bench in a game against Torino last Wednesday, Francesco Totti scored a crucial brace in just two minutes to help his team record a much-needed victory with controversies over his relationship with the coach still swirling around.
But the experienced footballer and Giallorossi leader is ready to bury the hatchet.
“The Great Beauty of Roma and Rome, just like the fairy tale we experienced on Wednesday night at the stadium, represent something that belongs uniquely to the fans of this shirt, as I am and you are. My goals helped gain victory for the team and the club I have always loved. This must unite and not divide.”, his statement reads.
AS Roma are due to play Napoli on Monday in a game that will give answers to many questions. Giallorossi are aware that a win could put Scudetto in the hands of Juventus, but at the same time help the team get closer to finishing the season in second place. AS Roma are standing at 6/4 to emerge victorious from the Monday’s match.
As Totti’s future remains in balance, the captain is fully committed to the cause.
“On Monday there will be a big game and for me, as always, only one thing matters: celebrating with my teammates, the Coach, the club and our unique fans.
“Forza Roma!!!”, he concluded.
The man who showed incredible passion towards Roma and the city of Rome is standings at the crossroads. As James Palotta is still indecisive over Totti’s future, the King of Rome never hid his intentions.
His pride would not allow him to sit through another season on the bench and he is ready to throw it all away for a prolonged spell elsewhere.
He had plenty of chances to leave before, having been linked with AC Milan and Real Madrid in the past, but Francesco Totti outlasted many coaches who didn’t believe in him.
Can he do the same with Spalletti?
Perhaps if he was a tad younger. Spalletti argues that Totti can’t move anymore, that he is of no use in the long run and Luciano wants to build for the future with a firm stance on discrediting the King.
Not to blame it entirely on the coach, the King himself should’ve perhaps adopted a different approach as well. The 39-year-old forward could still choose to follow the path of the previous members of his one-club men species Javier Zanetti and Paolo Maldini.
The pair new it was time to go and that their bodies can’t cope with the challenge of keeping up with the physically dominant youngsters. Achievements and legacy aside, Totti would be well suited of watching his beloved team from the Board’s lounge rather than from the bench.
Francesco Totti is convinced he has a lot more to offer and his friend Claudio Ranieri is believed to be ready to help him make up his mind. Leicester City boss is apparently ready to make a bid to bring Totti to the Premier League.
Physicality of the English football might be a huge argument against accepting such a proposal as MLS seems a more logical choice at the time.
Either way, whatever choice he makes, Francesco Totti will be sorely missed in the Serie A.
One-club football players with respect to the club crest overpowering the respect of money are getting more and more difficult to find these days.