Francesco Totti has left his footprints in the sands of time — an achievement which AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti and the club director say they deeply appreciate.
Totti’s exit as the club’s captain after spending 25 years with Giallorossi was greeted with tears, love, respect and fears.
He played his last match against Genoa on Sunday and must be happy that the game not only ended in victory (3-2) but qualifies Roma for next year’s UEFA Champions League finals.
Spalletti told reporters that letting his captain retire after the season has been a nightmare.
As the media awaits his announcement amid speculations, Stadio Olimpico boss Spalletti says he feels heartbroken to let that happen.
The 40-year-old captain is expected to hold an administrative position at the club after his retirement. And his No. 10 shirt will be reserved in his honor but Spalletti says he’s not in support of that decision.
He said: “About the shirt, I say that they shouldn’t withdraw it. Before Totti, [Giuseppe] Giannini wore the No.10… in the past others withdrew the shirt. But what about the kid who longs to play with that shirt? Do we want to deprive him of this pleasure?
“I can’t bear to hear people saying that the shirt should be retired. This is my thought,” he adds.
“If I don’t see that shirt anymore, then I will go to the cemetery and will look for Totti’s shirt to see it again.”
Image shows Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo, AS Roma’s incoming sports director.
“If we speak about the Totti situation, he [Monchi] has only reported on the situation he has found,” the current coach told reporters, making reference to the news that his captain will play a managerial role at Stadio Olympico.
“He said that Francesco has signed a contract [to become a director] – that’s what he knows and that’s what he reports.
“Francesco is going through the most important moment of his career, he wants to wait the end of the season and he wants to keep quiet in order to stress the importance of the final streak of games.
“Whereas you [the media] care more about his fate than the others, but in order to achieve results, we should take everyone into consideration.
“It’s the president who is managing Totti’s career ending and it seems to me that he has already done this.
“I haven’t heard from any of his entourage and this means that they want to wait the end of the season and only then will he [Totti] voice his thoughts.
“And I think it would be better if it was him doing it. Monchi only stated what he has already found on the table.”
Spalletti says he feels it’d be a sign of respect for the veteran footballer who sacrificed everything for Roma, not to retire him until his tenure as manager ends.
Image shows Luciano Spalletti, AS Roma’s outgoing coach.
Monchi [full names Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo] is the club’s incoming Sporting Director. The retired Spanish footballer who played as a goalkeeper in this days, was appointed by Roma in April.