Walter Sabatini's takedown of “vain” Francesco Totti is causing shockwaves. “This situation is killing Roma.”
The director of sport held a passionate Press conference on Friday in which he revealed there is a “triangle” within the club between Coach Luis Enrique, director Franco Baldini and captain Totti.
“I am very, very worried and I think it's time we face this almost unbearable triangle between Baldini, Totti and Luis Enrique. It has reached a level of stasis and I know when a plane's engines stall, it falls out of the sky,” said Sabatini.
“I feel the danger of this affair and we've got to resolve it. If we don't get out of this soon, then there will be no team and no football, as we'll be too busy with other matters.”
Newspapers claim there is a feud between Baldini, who is still technically general manager of England, and Totti with an exchange of heated text messages.
“Baldini contacted me in December and said he was ready to join this new Roma project, but he never mentioned any Totti problem. It's absurd to think there is some conspiracy within the club from Baldini and Luis Enrique to kick Totti out. It doesn't exist.
“However, Totti has to resolve the issue by taking a step towards the Coach and helping Luis Enrique to do his job. I know that not playing is a huge sacrifice for him, but the captain must not allow people to act as if he was betrayed by being left on the bench.
“Maybe Totti would be more useful to Roma playing 20 games per season rather than 30. He ought to keep his smile when he's on the bench, partly to help the newcomers avoid this embarrassment. Luis Enrique must be allowed to make his decisions without going on trial.
“I will not passively sit by and watch everything go to ruin. I won't listen to the band play as the Titanic sinks, because I tell you this is going to be a big problem for Roma. I want Totti to come out and speak to the media about this, as his silence is making things worse.
“As for the fact Totti and Baldini aren't speaking to each other, I think that's about pride. I'm sure they'll explain things eventually.”
Sabatini had a dire warning for the Giallorossi, though he ruled out Totti leaving the club he always represented.
“In modern football, there are no untouchable players. If we want to be competitive every weekend, then some players are going to rest and accept being dropped. This situation is killing Roma. There is no chance Totti could leave Roma. I am an imaginative person, but I cannot picture that.
“He doesn't have to get accustomed to being dropped, but merely experience it in a different way. He has to put to one side any form of vanity, knowing he'd be really helping the squad.”
Betting on Serie A? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more