Francesco Totti’s farewell last May was an emotional moment for any fan of soccer, let alone Roma and Italy fans who watched him play for a full quarter century. Roma made a video commemorating Totti’s final match with the Giallorossi and on Tuesday night “A Stadium of Tears” won a 2017 Sportel Award for Best Slow Motion video.
Just try to watch the affixed video without tearing up, we dare you.
There is no soccer in the video itself, no highlights of a man who scored 250 goals for his hometown club, no hint at the talents of the hero for which tens of thousands of Romans are shedding tears. The video instead focuses on the raw emotion of saying goodbye. It’s the aching of accepting Totti’s playing career is at an end combined with the tears of happiness for having watched him at Stadio Olimpico for 25 years.
The clip, along with the accompanying piano score, appropriately illustrates the relationship Totti had with his club, fans and city, having played for Roma since 1992. That’s a long time. Think about what you were doing in 1992. You probably weren’t even born yet. It’s the same year Neymar was born.
More than 18 million people watched the video on Facebook and it beat out 11 other finalists for the Golden Podium honor, which Sportel gives each year to reward “the most beautiful sports videos of the year.”
“On behalf of the whole AS Roma, we are honored to receive this prestigious award," the club’s representative said at the ceremony. “We all had the privilege of seeing Francesco Totti with the shirt of Roma throughout his career, and we wanted to create a video that encapsulates everything Totti has represented for Roma and for football.”
Totti, who’s stature in Rome is difficult to understate having appeared more than 600 times in Serie A, played in all seven matches of Italy’s triumphant 2006 World Cup campaign.
Totti originally planned to retire in 2006 but ended up playing for another decade. He now serves as a club director with Roma and will not soon be forgotten, especially with dramatic films like this commemorating the legendary playmaker.
The text attached to the YouTube post for the video succinctly sums up the feelings of the 1-minute, 57-second clip:
“When Francesco Totti cries, we all cry.”