After 20 great years at Italian club AS Roma, Francesco Totti has put pen to paper on a new two-year contract extension keeping him at the club until the end of the 2015/16 season. This, in effect, means that the Roma-born forward, who turned 37 on Friday, intends to finish his career at the Serie A side.
The discussions for this deal, which has put an end to all speculation surrounding the player, are reported to have gone on for quite some time. The fact that both the player and the club wanted to continue working with each other however made it easy to quickly reach an official agreement. The Roma captain reportedly accepted a 30% pay cut, meaning he’ll be earning about 3.5 million euros per season. At a press conference following this deal, both Totti and Roma club president James Pallotti expressed that they were both pleased with the arrangements as they had both enjoyed working with each other.
At the conference, Totti told the press: “I want to thank the president for this contract. In the end, this is what we all wanted, the club and I. I want to thank him because this new deal gives me the opportunity to continue to wear the only jersey that I have loved and been a fan of.” Club president James Pallotta responded: “I am honored that Francesco will remain with us. I want to raise our glasses for Totti and for Roma, for a radiant future.”
Francesco Totti joined Roma in 1989 as a youth player and won the Serie A Young Footballer of the Year ten years later in 1999. He has, since joining, made a club record 682 appearances (including 540 in the Serie A), scoring a club record 283 goals. During this time, Totti helped Roma lift one Serie A Title, two Italian Cups, and two Italian Supercups.
With more than a hundred assists, Totti played a big role in all these victories. He was awarded Serie A Footballer of the Year twice in 2000 and 2003, Italian Footballer of the Year five times (most recently in 2007), Serie A Goal of the Year twice, and was the Serie A top scorer in the 2006-07 season with 26 goals.Before officially retiring from international football with the Italian national team in 2007, Totti was part of the Italian team that won the FIFA World Cup in 2006. Although injuries prevented him from fully taking part in all the games, he was able to recover and contributed to the win. He was included in the All-Star team of the tournament for his contribution.
Totti, a true Italian legend to his fans, received six nominations (five of which were consecutive) for the FIFA Ballon D’or, but was only in the top ten twice. In 2001, when England and Liverpool striker Michael Owen won the award, Totti ended in 5th with 57 points. Between him and the coveted prize were Raul Gonzalez, Oliver Kahn, and David Beckham. Totti was nominated the following year as well, but got zero points. His last nomination was in 2007, where he finished 10th after losing to Robinho, Cesc Fabregas, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Andrea Pirlo, Didier Drogba, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and eventual winner Ricardo Kaka.
As well as awards and honors, however, Totti has also had some controversial moments both on and off the pitch. Totti was banned for some time at the Euro 2004 for misconduct, and has been red-carded quite a few times throughout his career. As a captain and senior player however, Totti has avoided all this and has now settled.
At a time where the Serie A is becoming tougher and more serious, Totti hopes to end his career with one or two more significant trophies. As it now stands, Roma have a 100% record in the Serie A. If things continue in this manner with all the good signings they made during the summer window, Totti could very well achieve this target: Hopeful about the future, Totti also stated: “I have two more years of responsibility and I know that in these two years we will be able to do great things.”
Written by Ange Marline