Two legends of the world game have urged Francesco Totti to end his playing career with Roma.
The current Giallorossi Number 10 is yet to reach a decision on whether to continue playing on at his beloved boyhood club, or retire – with all corners of the football world seemingly having an opinion on matters.
Firstly, prior to meeting his former club Real Madrid in the Champions League ex-Argentina forward Jorge Valdano suggested that Totti accept he is almost 40 and retire, telling La Repubblica:
It is impossible to criticise a legend, he’s in the history of AS Roma and will always come in first place. But a manager has to choose the best players of the week, not of the history.
Footballers are the last ones who understand when it’s time to give up. If us footballers knew how hard it is to retire, we’d have chosen another career. We would have been painters or writers instead. We would never give up playing.
People who are close to Totti should really help him, otherwise he’ll always see the manager as his enemy.
Trouble is, today players are also businessman, and managers have to deal with it. There are agents, lawyers, middle-men, press officers who have no critical sense, but bad advisors can distance people from truth.
Meanwhile another Roma legend, the former midfielder maestro Falcao, has another suggestion if the Number 10 wishes to continue playing:
Brazil would be a great ending to his career. Brazilian football adores technical players like him. I do hope he finds the right situation with Roma, but if that didn’t happen, I’d tell Francesco to come with me from May to December for the next tournament.
I’d give him a piece of the field, probably the penalty area, and tell him he is the dominator there. Naturally, he’d get to wear the Number 10 shirt.
On the playmaker’s current predicament, Falcao said of the fantasista:
He’s one of the greatest in Italian football history. Absolutely unique. He can play anywhere and would certainly have won the Ballon d’Or if Roma had won at least one Champions League trophy.
I will only say the current problem has to be resolved with dialogue, for everyone’s benefit. This affair is damaging Roma and that is not right.
Luciano Spalletti is a great Coach, I like him a lot, while Totti is Roma history. They have to open up a dialogue.
Francesco needs to be happy with his decision. He has earned that right. Only he can decide whether to retire, nobody else can intervene.
I stopped at almost 33 years of age, but I would’ve continued if I had realised that I was remotely useful on the field or in the locker room. Today football has changed, careers last longer.
My knee was fine, I just stopped because I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. I only had a slight thought when Diego Maradona called me in 1986, as he wanted me at Napoli. We didn’t seal the deal and I was just too Romanista inside to join another Serie A club.