Not all footballers have had titles such as "II Bimbo d'Oro" (translated as "Golden Boy), "II Gladiatore (translated as "Gladiator), "Er Pupone" (translated as "The big baby") or "ll Re di Roma" (translated as King of Rome") ascribed to them. Thanks to the numerous records associated with his name, he has become a household name across the Serie A and its book of records. This player is no other than Francesco Totti, a legend of Italian football and AS Roma captain. He is among the most respected players to have ever played in the Italian Serie A and for Italy as an international player.
Today, he is held in high esteem by many young players across Italy and Europe in general and he is looked up to by many young talents. Totti is now chasing his 21st year at the club and he has kept the whole world suggesting that he may drop his boots and venture into something else. It is time to take a good look at the football journey of the living legend Totti.
His biography and records
Totti was born on 27th September of the year 1976 in Rome. The legend started playing football when he was 8 years old and it was not long before AC Milan scouts spotted him. But, his parents declined the offer as they desire that their child remains in the city. In later years, he proceeded to join the youth team of AC Roma.
Totti boasts of more than 230 goals and is held in high esteem by many football fans across Italy and the world at large. Francesco made his first appearance for Roma in 1993 on the 28th March. Since then, he has never looked back and has featured for his club on 561 occasions up to this day. In year 2001, he won the Serie A trophy with AS Roma and earned the Italy Player of year award on five occasions. The Italian was also part of the World Cup winning team of the year 2006 and also featured in the Euro 200 final. During his time, it was his versatility that accounted for his success.
Flexibility and fluidity in his playing style
Totti has played under 16 coaches at Roma, a feat that has enabled him to assume various positions from the onset of his career to this date. Football fans that are neutral will most likely remember him for his undisputed role during Luciano Spalletti era, when he won the best goal award of the 2005/06 season in the main Italian league. He played the false number 9 position, which enabled him to stay on top but drop into the midfield as often the need arose.
In 2011, he was handed the "trequartista" role by the coach Luis Enrique. During his time, he managed to net many goals from any kind of position most of which were crucial in the winning of the local league and the European Championship. His unique ability to position himself in the right places at the right time is what accounted for this. Totti is also renowned for being able to pick up many crucial passes and makes it appear very simple and straight forward, thanks to his finesse and astonishing football eye. At a glance, his style of play often appears very simple and straight forward, but it is what has devastated defenses in the Serie A., World Cup and European championship fixtures.
His ability to score spectacular goals
Totti is renowned for his ability to convert from instances involving dead balls and he is also a regular taker of penalties both for the club and national side, although he has also managed to score many great shots from outside the 18 yard box. Despite scoring many goals for Roma, his goal against Inter Milan in 2005 remains one of the all-time spectaculars. He caught the goalkeeper out of his position and chipped the ball into the net from a position which was well outside the box.
Another goal is the one he scored against Sampdoria ion November 2006 from shocking position, which he followed up with his famous celebration popularly known as the "thumb in mouth" celebration.
His loyalty to Roma
Totti's passion for football, loyalty to Roma and the love he has for the club are what makes him distinguishable figure of the Italian league. A number of high profile Italian strikers have failed to stick to a single club, which also includes the likes of Del Piero, Paolo Rossie and Filippo Inzaghi. He falls into category of great players such as Giggs, Steven Gerard and Paolo Maldini who have managed to stick to a single club and still continues to be the leader of the AS Roma up to this day.
Although most people may suggest that the 37 year old may hang up his boots, I certainly beg to differ. This may not be the last we have seen of Totti; he may still have a number of shows left in stock for his fans. Perhaps, it is something that will spice up his illustrious career. Although he may not be in possession of the same legs he had 20 years ago, he may actually have enough magic left in him.
When the day to part company with football arrives, Totti wil certainly join the list of great Italian players including Zanetti and Paolo Maldini who have spent their entire careers at the one club and still achieved great. After his contribution to Italian football and his unique ability to light up the Serie A, he will definitely be missed by many. Undoubtedly, Italian football will never be the same without his presence. This also goes for European football which has seen the face of the great Italian legend for lengthy period of time. Sincerely, there is no one who wants to dismiss the usage of the phrase, " no Totti, no party" just yet.