Inter boss Luciano Spalletti has hit back at Roma fans for booing him during Saturday’s clash at Stadio Olimpico, insisting he did not force the retirement of club legend Francesco Totti.
Despite leading the Giallorossi to second in Serie A last season, Spalletti received criticism for relegating Totti to the bench and the veteran manager cut short his second stint in charge at the end of the campaign.
The 58-year-old took over at Inter in June and guided the Nerazzurri to their second straight victory with an impressive 3-1 win at his former side.
Roma supporters in the Curva Sud made their feelings clear by whistling the veteran coach’s name prior to kick-off and reiterating their support for Totti, who retired as a one-club player.
“They jeered me because they think I am the reason Totti retired. But I am not [at Roma] now and he could have continued,” Spalletti told Mediaset Premium.
“Our paths have not crossed. If they had, I would have offered all my friendship.
“The Totti fans jeered me, but I received many positive messages from the Roma fans.”
— F.C. Internazionale (@Inter_en) August 26, 2017
Inter’s impressive start to the season, which began with a 3-1 opening-round win over Fiorentina, has sparked hopes of a title tilt, but Spalletti downplayed those chances.
“Let us focus on reality here. [Scudetto speculation] is all about blowing up the balloon, so if you finish second, it will feel like a failure,” he said.
“Inter are a good team but we need to work.”
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