Legendary Italian midfielder and Roma club icon Francesco Totti will be hanging his boots at the end of the season.
Roma’s new sports director Monchi made the revelation at his first press conference on the job saying that Totti would leave his 25-year playing career to become a director at the Serie A club.
“In terms of Totti, I already knew that there was an agreement with the club that this would be his final year as a player, then he’d start as a director,” said Monchi.
“Francesco is Roma, I want to be as close to him as possible. I’d love to learn even one percent of the huge amount that he knows,” added the Spaniard who last served the sports director role in Sevilla, winning the Europa League in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“Francesco has a six-year contract [to become a director] so he is going to be involved in many more derbies, even if he will be off the field for those. His contract as a footballer expires in June. At the moment, we don’t envisage seeing him on the field again, but he will be with us for many more derbies.”
The 40-year-old began his career with the Giallorossi in 1992 and has made 783 appearances, scoring 307 goals.
Francesco was born to bank clerk father Lorenzo and housewife Fiorella. His parents recalled that Totti always stood out in whatever he did like walking at nine months. His love for football stood out from early as he watched countless matches on the television in the family’s cramped apartment at the age of four.
Totti’s childhood coach at Lodigiani described his talent saying:
“At 10, Francesco was tiny and fast. You could tell he was a natural talent. The challenge was not to hone his gifts but to guide him in the right way. He had football in his DNA. He played dumb: he seemed to go missing. Then suddenly he would score.”
Francesco Totti has, however, only been crowned with four major honors in his career: one Scudetto, two Coppa Italias and a world cup. Many have argued his talent deserved more and that he should have left Roma to bigger clubs to win more accolades. If he did so, he won’t be revered today as a paragon of loyalty.
Over the years, the Italian sports media have coined various nicknames for Francesco Totti such as Il Bimbo d’Oro (The Golden Boy), Il Re di Roma (The King of Rome), and Il Gladiatore (The Gladiator) all thanks to his loyalty.
His final game will be against Genoa on Sunday 28th May at the Stadio Olimpico.
Arrivederci Il Re di Roma.