Francesco Totti Signs Two-Year Contract Extension with AS Roma

Francesco TottiAfter 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.

Francesco TottiWith 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

About these ads

PSG Sign 19-Year-Old Marquinhos from AS Roma in €35m Deal

MarquinhosMarquinhos, the 19-year-old highly rated center back, recently completed his move from AS Roma to Ligue 1 big-spenders Paris Saint-Germain. The young Brazilian attracted interest in many European clubs, such as Barcelona, but in the end, the youngster signed for the French to join his compatriot Thiago Silva in PSG’s defense. Marquinhos himself commented on his move and admitted that his relationship with Thiago Silva and PSG’s other Brazilians played a big role.

Indeed, Marquinhos is expected to slot into PSG’s defensive line effortlessly. Having earned himself a spot in AS Roma’s starting lineup in a very impressive manner, the young Brazilian will look to do the same in France, and in the process, try to learn as much as he can from Thiago Silva, who might well be one of the best center backs in the world at this moment.

As a €35 million signing, Marquinhos surely represents a risk as well. The player has only featured in 36 games at the senior level, which is very little for a player as expensive as him. However, his transfer fee proves that big clubs have seen his talent and have faith in him, which could be a very good decision in the long run. There is simply no reason to believe that Marquinhos couldn’t be a success in PSG. He is fast, dynamic, and despite not being the physically biggest defender in the market, he surely possesses a considerable amount of physical strength as well.

In many ways, Marquinhos represents the new generation of center backs who aren’t only comfortable chasing the ball, but equally comfortable with it as well. Just like a modern center back is expected to, he can build the game from the back, urge forward every now and then and also operate in small spaces to escape the opponent’s pressing game.

With all these traits, it’s easy to see why PSG wanted to invest in Marquinhos. Not only is he a great center back as a 19-year-old, but most definitely has the potential to be one of the greatest over the course of the next ten years or so. With Thiago Silva still being very much in his prime, the two can form a solid center back duo in the next few years, and as Silva approaches the later stages of his career, the French club will have a replacement waiting in line.

MarquinhosFor Marquinhos himself, PSG represents an opportunity to not only learn, but to seal himself a spot in the Brazilian national team. The Confederations Cup Champions’ defense is currently dominated by Marquinho’s new teammate Thiago Silva, Chelsea’s David Luiz, and Bayern Munich’s Dante. In PSG, Marquinhos will be exposed to European football against some of the best players in the world, which will most likely - despite his young age - make him a suitable candidate for Seleção Brasileira in the near future.

With the World Cup approaching, Marquinhos will surely look to make an impression from day one, just like he did in AS Roma. In Marquinhos, PSG have a center back who can make an immediate impact. Perhaps even more importantly, he’s a player for the future who can dominate the French club’s defense for the next decade. Suddenly, when you look at the big picture, his €35 million price-tag almost seems like a bargain.

Knowing Marquinhos, it’s almost certain that PSG will have to fight to keep their new Brazilian star in the future. To lure him this summer, they already had to compete with European clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester United. If the youngster impresses in France, the interest from big European clubs is only likely to increase. Being tipped to be the “new Thiago Silva”, the pressure on Marquinhos is surely high. However, it remains interesting to see what the undoubtedly talented 19-year-old can do alongside his idol in PSG, who without a question have a diamond in their hands.

Written by Jen Evelyn