Totti: “I’ve always desired to only wear this shirt.”

John Solano

Roma captain Francesco Totti spoke to GazzettaWorld as the Giallorossi talisman is ready to embark on his final season with the club, here are his words:

What has compelled you to stay with Roma for so long?
I’ve always loved these colours and I’ve always desired to wear only this jersey. For me, this is an ideal marriage.

Most players, across all sports, don’t stay with the same club forever. What are your thoughts on that?
Maybe this is the difference between me and everyone else. There aren’t many athletes who follow their hearts. They choose to go somewhere to win more and earn more money. They’re like gypsies. If I thought only about the money and the finances, I would have changed teams 10 years ago. I’d earn more in respect to what I make now with Roma. For me it’s another choice, one of passion, not money.

Did you ever consider coming to play professionally in the United States or in China?
I thought about coming to America a few times. I reflected on it, but it was always a choice of the heart to stay with Roma. Not China. I can’t even imagine it. It would be difficult for me, especially with my mentality.

Have you enjoyed your time training in Boston with Roma?
It’s a beautiful city. It’s new for the team in many ways because we’ve only been here only three or four times. One could say we’re at home because we like to be here.

Our experience in America during summer training camps has been positive. In addition to our physical preparations for the coming season, we also have been involved in a few prestigious friendlies that are enjoyable.

Roma President James Pallotta says this will be your last season. Do you plan on staying on?
Right now, it’s my last year. It’s normal that I see this season differently than those past. I hope to work until the very end, and I hope to obtain something important for the club, even if it’s difficult.

So are you saying that you may continue playing even beyond this season?
There will always be an end. I need to find the right moment. When I don’t feel right with myself anymore or I see that I’m struggling or that I don’t have the desire to play, I’ll be the first one to raise my hand and step aside.

With respect to your current age, how do you feel physically?
It’s normal when you get older for your physicality to change. But I’ve been lucky. I’ve been professional in the way I’ve handled my body. Reaching 40 years old in this shape is not something many athletes accomplish.

How do you imagine finishing your career?
I’d like to finish my career by winning something. I want to lift a trophy. I want to finish my career in style. At the same time I know it’s not easy. But, that’s my dream for closing out my career.

What do you envision yourself doing after you retire?
I’ve been asked if I want to coach, but I’m not thinking about that. Seeing my ex-teammates who stopped playing and have moved to coaching has been interesting.

Maybe something changes mentally and suddenly that becomes appealing. Maybe I will experience such a change too. It’s not that I don’t want to be a coach, though I don’t see it happening. It’s just not something I’m even thinking about. But in life there are many surprises and one can never say no.

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MatchDay 33
22 Apr 18:30