Italian Football legend Francesco Totti retires
Even Daniele De Rossi, one of the hardest men in football, was reduced to tears as AS Roma talisman Francesco Totti brought down the curtain on a remarkable 25 years at his only professional club on Sunday (May28).
A capacity crowd stayed behind for more than an hour after the end of the win over Genoa to bid farewell to a hugely gifted player who, many believed, could have won much more had he moved elsewhere but remained loyal to Roma throughout.
Totti, 40, came on in the 54th minute of the Serie A match and helped his team to a 3-2 win which guaranteed a second-place finish and an automatic place in the Champions League group stage next season.
After that, it was time for the goodbyes.
Totti, who confirmed only on Thursday that the game would be his last for the club, walked around the stadium and stood in front of the Curva Sud, tears welling in his eyes, for several minutes before kicking an autographed ball high into the stands.
Totti made his debut as a 16-year-old in a 2-0 win against Brescia in 1993 and played under 16 different coaches during his 25 seasons at the club in the city where he was born.
In all he made 786 appearances, scoring 307 goals including 250 in Serie A — the second-highest total by a single player after Silvio Piola between 1929 and 1954.