Despite calls from AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti and fellow professionals to have the club extend Francesco Totti’s contract another year, new Roma sporting director Monchi has confirmed that plans for this to be Totti’s last season had been put in place before he was appointed on April 24.
"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,” Monchi said. "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."
So while Totti will remained heavily involved at Roma in the role of director, the club must now say goodbye to the footballer who’s been with them since the age of 13 and who’s played 25 professional seasons in Rome.
The winner of the 2006 World Cup with Italy, Totti retires as Roma’s all time leading scorer, all time leader in appearances, the UEFA Champions League’s oldest goalscorer, Serie A’s youngest ever club captain and the record holder for the most goals with a single club in Serie A.
Totti, now age 40, has seen his minutes decrease exponentially over the last two seasons. This year, he’s only started one Serie A match while appearing as a substitute 14 times, but he’s still managed to register two goals and three assists in only 323 minutes.
Roma and Totti have only four matches remaining this campaign, and it’ll be interesting to see how Totti is deployed as the club are currently fighting to maintain their position in second behind Juventus, a finish that would see them qualify directly for the Champions League next year.