Friday 19 July 2019

'Leaving Roma is like dying. I feel like it'd be better if I died' - Francesco Totti hits out at club's hierarchy after exit

AS Roma's Francesco Totti speaks during a press conference at Coni Palace, Rome today. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli
AS Roma's Francesco Totti speaks during a press conference at Coni Palace, Rome today. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Andy Hampson

Francesco Totti has hit out at the Roma hierarchy after ending a 30-year association with the club.

The 42-year-old former Giallorossi captain claimed his views were not taken into consideration as he stepped down as a director.

Totti took up a role on the club's management two years ago after retiring as a player.

Speaking at a press conference reported in a number of outlets, Totti said: "I never had the chance to express myself. I was never involved in a genuine technical project.

"In the first year, that can happen. In the second, I realised what I wanted to do and we never got together, never helped each other.

"They knew my intentions and what I wanted, to give so much to this club and team, but they never wanted me to, in all honesty. They excluded me from every decision. I will now take other paths."

Last week Totti failed to appear at the club's meeting in London, where new coach Paulo Fonseca was presented. Roma's American owner Jim Pallotta insisted he had been invited, sparking speculation over Totti's position.

Totti, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, spent his entire playing career with Roma. He made his debut in 1989 and went to appear 786 times for the club, scoring 307 goals in all competitions. He won Serie A in 2001.

He said: "This is far worse than retiring as a player. Leaving Roma is like dying. I feel like it'd be better if I died."

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