Francesco Totti’s recent rift with his manager Luciano Spalletti opened series of questions and seriously divided the public in Rome, as well as in the rest of the world. While almost the entire Olimpico stood by their captain this Sunday evening, the club’s management seem to back their head coach this time out. AS Roma General Manager Mauro Baldissoni stated that Spalletti was sad to inform them about his decision to leave Totti out of the squad, but had done it in order to prevent the unrest in the team. Hence, Totti’s presence was no longer needed in the camp, so he was sent home. Baldissoni added that he did not consider this clash as something of importance, that they cannot afford to focus on “individual cases”, since Roma is the only thing that matters.
Roma fans stand behind their hero
Talking about such “individual cases”, we can honestly say that twenty four years of football could easily fit in those several seconds that took Spalletti to inform his captain he will not be in the team for the match against Palermo. True, the King of Rome probably should not have vented his feelings publicly in such a manner, but did he really deserve such humiliation? It is obvious that Il Capitano is far from his best form, but I am tempted to back his side, since I honestly believe he deserves more respect from the club. Not so long ago, Roma officials were excited with the fact their star player was turning down astronomic offers and deciding to stay in the capital city, remaining the only true bandiera to all supporters. Such a class midfielder could have easily followed the footsteps of so many of his colleagues, transfer to a top-flight club and win a handful of trophies. But he remained faithful to his childhood love, thus earning a status of a true icon. In the eyes of the entire World Roma equals Francesco Totti and vice versa. It simply hurts to see such a legend ending his career by sitting on the bench.
The oldest scorer in the Champions league is frustrated at his first-team prospect. After serving his beloved club for so many years, he is restricted to the role of a squad player. Some say his current status is the consequence of his bad relationship with Spalletti, whom he heavily criticized upon his departure for Russia, stating he left the club for money. If we suppose that Roma’s manager is capable of holding a grudge for so many years, than this could certainly be his revenge, justified by Totti’s inability to meet the demands of the modern game due to his age and overall fitness.
President Pallotta plans to offer Totti the position of the club’s director at the end of the season, but il Capitano still feels as a football player who is in good shape and wants to stay on the pitch at least for two more years. He still has the passion, the hunger and nobody can force him to stop playing football. His life-long dream is to stay with the Giallorossi forever, but is he willing to pay such a big price to spend his last days as a mere fringe player just to remain home?
One-club men a dying bread
Many before him gave up, Steven Gerrard left Liverpool because of his confrontation with Rodgers, Frank Lampard felt unwanted at Chelsea and went to America, while it was never confirmed whether Alessandro Del Piero left Juventus voluntarily, or if he was forced out.
Some of his former club and national team-mates such as Christian Vieri gave him their full support and advised him to leave his beloved team if he is unhappy. A number of clubs worldwide would stand in line for his signature, but I do not reckon that would be anything more than a simple marketing move. The last word is down to the King, since he needs to make up his mind whether to keep his throne or abdicate.