Friday March 28 2014
Pallotta: We’ll retire Totti’s 10

James Pallotta says new stadiums are essential for Italian football, there is no rush over Rudi Garcia and that Francesco Totti’s No 10 will retire with him.

The Roma veteran has just  reached 700 appearances for the club in all competitions, over the course of a 22-year career so far.

“It would be great to be able to replicate players like him, De Rossi and Florenzi,” club President Pallotta has considered on Sky Sport 24 this week.

“In Boston we had Larry Bird, we had Paul Pierce, and it was very difficult to decide to sell him, but it was good for the team.

“I’d like to have players who are 10-15 years in the squad.

“When Francesco stops? We will retire the No 10 jersey, there is no doubt - his farewell won’t last just an hour either, it will be at least a month.”

Pallotta was in the capital this week to present the club’s plans for a new 52,000-seater stadium.

“The construction of the stadiums is essential for the development of football in Italy. Juventus was the first team and has a great stadium.

“Rome is visited by 30 million tourists. I hope that our project will be followed by others.”

Attention at the club is also on an apparent desire to renew Coach Rudi Garcia’s contract.

“We have spoken about it, but Rudi is not in a hurry. We are ready to sit down with him at any time.

“Rudi is very happy here and also thanks to the new stadium I see no reason why he should not stay for a long time and we want him to.

“Rudi thinks only about coaching, to win and take us into the Champions League, not about the new contract, which many others have spoken of.

“It’s not an obsession, whilst the €90 I gave him the other night [as a joke on camera post-Torino] may be enough…

“The Champions League? An all-Italian final between Roma and Juventus would be perfect, as well as fantastic.”

Pallotta was asked if he has been surprised by developing contract situations with players in the game, and the role agents play.

“For me, it was a surprise, as well as other aspects related to contracts. I have spoken with many European club owners, annoyed by relationships with certain agents.

“Sooner or later, this is something that will have to change.”