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Francesco Totti has confirmed that he will retire at the end of this season. Here, the Cosh boys discuss Spalletti’s handling of him, and how he will be remembered.
During Roma’s 4-1 victory over Milan, Luciano Spalletti passed up the opportunity to give Totti one final appearance at the San Siro and was criticized by local press. Do you have sympathy for the manager, or should he have brought Totti on?
Mohaned: 100% should have brought Totti on. This isn’t a joke. This is Totti. We were in Rome as a Cosh group last April and saw just how much the saying “In Rome there’s the Pope then there’s Totti” is true and not hyperbole. He’s a living legend and a loyal one to the city of Rome and should have been given the courtesy to come on for one more appearance at the San Siro. It was 3-1 at the time, for crying out loud. Unacceptable by Spalletti who has always taken this Totti situation personally and always tried to prove that he is bigger then the player. Poorly handled.
Alex: I disagree. Spalletti is trying to deliver a vital second place finish with Napoli breathing down Roma’s necks, and he’s got his team playing the best and most consistent football they’ve played in a long time. He deserves to have his decisions respected. We all know how quickly a football match can change and at 3-1 he felt the right decision was to bring on Bruno Peres to help secure the game. I can’t argue with that. Totti is everything you mentioned, but ultimately the team comes first and as someone who loves the club and wants nothing but success for it, the player surely understands that. He’s been making trips to the San Siro for over 20 years and I’m sure would be a guest of honour after retirement if he wanted to have a little visit. Let’s not go mental.
Rishay: Cruising to the finish line and with Totti’s career winding down, I think you should bring on your club legend for the final few minutes. His service has been outstanding and he is the last of his “breed” of players that remained at one club. Romans love him and he is a Roman legend. The media can be annoying with their over- involvement in club processes, but perhaps they have a fair reason to give Spalletti stick for leaving Totti out of this one.
How will you remember Francesco Totti?
Mohaned: Unfortunately not as well as he should be remembered. Playing in Serie A his whole life and not for one of the giants in Milan or Juve causes Totti’s stock to be lower than it should be; among the greats of the game. A phenomenal player with great ability and the utmost loyalty to the club he grew up loving and that runs in his blood for generations. Totti will always be remembered fondly by Serie A and Italian fans as he also had some great moments for the national team. Unfortunately he may miss out on a wider scale in Europe when it comes to the very top echelon of players and their legacies. I will remember Totti in the same way I remember Maldini. One-club men who plied their trade in the rough and tumble of a very strong Serie A and produced memorable moments for their national side. Totti is one of the last few “legends” from my time watching football growing up as a kid. He will be missed.
Rishay: Totti is a staple name in football and he’s known around the world and across fans from all sports. This is quite impressive since there are not many Seria A legends that have this same sort of effect. You can perhaps think about Baggio during his day, maybe Del Piero, Buffon, and Totti. Totti is the pillar of Roma, the poster boy for what a Roman statue should look like, and could’ve been the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire if he was born in that time. Totti should remain with football forever.
Alex: My overriding memory of Totti will be the Scudetto-winning season in 2000 when he played as a #10 behind Batistuta and Montella. What an incredible, glorious trident. I’ll always love him for embarrassing Joe Hart in the Champions League, too, and of course for the night we saw him score two in the final seconds to give Roma a 3-2 victory over Torino.
We can all respect his loyalty to Roma, but do you think he should have moved for his career at some point?
Rishay: I think he’s done well to be remain at Roma and will be remembered forever as a result of this. Players who have made their names and left do not experience the same remembrance from their fans. A club like Real Madrid would’ve spat him out eventually, and anywhere else almost seems like a step down when you consider he is Roman and Roma is in his DNA. Even Lebron James would choose his Cleveland ring over any of his Miami rings any day. There is nothing like taking your hometown to glory as a sportsman.
Mohaned: No and yes. It’s hard to predict the outcome of such a move. Did he have the ability to play anywhere in the world? Yes. Is there any guarantee had he gone to Real Madrid that his career wouldn’t have just petered out? No. By staying at Rome, he solidified his hero status at the club and also guaranteed that he was the main man for two decades. I think it was a good decision in the end. Keep in mind, after retirement he gets to live in Rome as a king. I mean that. Do not underestimate Totti’s status to the city’s people. He will dine for free until he dies.
Alex: He should have gone to Chelsea in Mourinho’s first stint. He’d have won everything. I kid, that would have been horrendous. I’m glad he never left Rome.
Who is better looking, Totti or De Rossi?
Alex: Totti because he can go bearded or clean-shaven. De Rossi without the beard isn’t the same.
Rishay: Totti is the pick for me and you can put a sculpture of him in all the nearby museums and gardens because that’s where he belongs.
* Mohaned will face a disciplinary investigation for this answer.