Francesco Totti has written an impassioned plea to fans and defended teammate Pablo Daniel Osvaldo. “Hands off my, our and your Roma!”
The Giallorossi have been in crisis for over two months and sacked Zdenek Zeman last week to promote Aurelio Andreazzoli.
“We have arrived at an important and keenly-felt match. We are facing a great team like Juventus, even if there has been little mention of this,” wrote Totti on his official website.
He confronted the incident in a 3-1 defeat to Sampdoria when Osvaldo insisted on taking the penalty rather than Totti, which he then passed straight to the goalkeeper.
“There have been many words and fantastical reconstructions of what happened in Genoa. It was something that happened within the match and at the final whistle it’s all over for me.
“We win and lose together, from the first to the last, as joy and pain must be divided equally between us.
“I will not tolerate that someone puts around stories that are not true and try to hide behind my name. There were no individual meetings between me and the club or the Coach with regards to this issue.
“Reports that are totally without foundation were spread in the media. We only discussed the matter within a regular meeting with the Coach, staff and players, as is normal after any game.
“During moments of difficulty, a captain needs to make his voice heard. I have had this role for many years and try to do it with responsibility, belonging, passion and clarity. Blaming individuals is not good for anybody.
“We who are part of Roma are fully in sync. We want to give our all for this jersey and will prove it all together.”
A group of fans again staged a protest at the training ground against Osvaldo, whose car was attacked earlier this week. He also had to be restrained when insulted by supporters at the airport.
“My teammates and I form a united group and Daniel is one of us. This must not be forgotten and I hope he will soon return to celebrating with joy after scoring a goal. This is what we should all hope, to celebrate victories together.
“People often forget that we are all Roma and must try together to protect and defend her for what she represents… for me, it is simply life itself.
“Now more than ever I say always and only Forza Roma. Hands off my, our and your Roma!”