Francesco Totti has announced his retirement from his playing career in an interview with Roma TV, and also confirmed that he will now begin his role as a director with the club. However, the exact nature of his role in the club’s hierarchy is still unclear.
Il Tempo (Erika Menghi) It finished with a handshake, a promise that he will soon sign a contract. “I’m not a director of Roma yet, but I will be soon,” Totti said as he left the Hotel De Russie, where he met with Pallotta yesterday evening. It was the last step required before putting pen to paper on his new contract that will tie him to the Giallorossi for another 6 years. Not as a player any more, of course, but he won’t be hidden away in a corner of Trigoria: the president seems to have convinced Francesco to be a public face of the club, given how easily recognised he is around the world, but his principle role will be operational, in the technical area.
Francesco Totti will continue his playing career with Tokyo Verdy, according to the Japanese club’s president, if he decides not to hang up his boots and begin his career as a director at Roma.
Il Tempo (Alessandro Austini) It’s more than a new start, it’s a new era. 6th July 2017 is a historic day all because of one high-profile absentee: after 25 seasons (plus 3 in the youth teams), Totti’s car hasn’t pulled up to the gates of Trigoria. At least for now, because his future will still be at Roma, albeit in another guise. What that may be isn’t clear yet and won’t be until he meets the directors, a meeting that he has preferred to push back: once his new role has been clearly identified, the pre-agreed 6-year contract will be ‘activated’; whether this will happen during the US tour or later remains to be seen. It could be said, however, that Totti has already completed his first task as a ‘director’: 1 month ago he met Mancini in Saint Tropez and the two, who are very close, discussed Manolas and Paredes among other things. In the end, only the Argentine went to Zenit, but Francesco’s ‘recommendation’ will have had its use.
Il Tempo (Erika Menghi) “I’ll decide when I retire”, part 2. It seems as though Francesco Totti hasn’t decided what to do next, and it’s not just about what position he will take upstairs at Roma, because he hasn’t definitively ruled out hanging up his boots just yet. Speaking to Chi, he talked about it once more: “For now I’m enjoying a bit of time off with Ilary, then we’ll see: it’s not a given that I will definitely stop playing.” His mini-break to St Tropez has helped him to unwind a bit, but hasn’t helped him to clear up his future. Was 28th May really his last game as a player? Or just the last time he captains Roma?
Il Tempo (Alessandro Austini) Francesco cries. The day has come, and it hurts. It hurts everyone, and we can only imagine how it hurts you. Francesco cries because it wasn’t a celebration. It was something else, neither better nor worse: a moving farewell, a goodbye, the end of a 25 year old story (if you don’t count another 3 years in the youth team), the start of something which not even Totti knows what it will be, and which makes him “afraid”. Ilary cries, the wife of a great champion who now needs her love more than ever before. Cristian cries, Chanel cries, their father has stopped playing and will no longer blow kisses to them from the pitch but will continue to do so at home every day. Isabel doesn’t cry, because she doesn’t know the importance of what was happening, and was the only one really enjoying herself in that vast stadium, full of people, colour, songs, tears, emotions.
La Repubblica (Paolo Di Paolo) First thing in the morning, a young boy was playing on the piazza di Testaccio wearing a number 10 shirt. He was 9 years old. Meanwhile a small group of old men were gathered outside one of the bars, talking about that same number 10. A small sign of how one man can bring generations together. Yesterday this could be seen in Rome as perhaps never before, from the early hours of the day: supporters of all ages and tourists were everywhere, wearing Francesco Totti’s shirt, looking focused, anxious, and melancholy.