Former Roma President Rosella Sensi says they never considered selling Francesco Totti to Real Madrid “not even for a second”.
The Spanish giants wanted to make Er Pupone their next Galactico, and on September 11 2001 Florentino Perez made it clear at a lunch that he wanted to buy Totti.
“We were at a UEFA lunch before the match,” Sensi, daughter of legendary President Franco, recalled, speaking to AS.
“It was an intimate meeting between people who respected each other very much. The relationship between my father and Florentino Perez was very good, there was a great friendship.
“Suddenly it was Perez himself who gave us the news of the attacks in New York, and our blood ran cold.
“Totti? He asked very seriously, but my father took it as a joke. Florentino knew how important my father thought Totti was.
“It was nice recognition for the qualities of our captain, but not even for a second did we consider selling him.
“My father simply said he was Roma’s. Full stop. He always considered him the son he never had, and Florentino understood. There were no issues.
“They had respect, affection, sympathy. They often joked, it was fun to see them together. It was a special relationship.”
Sensi was then asked if Totti had ever spoken about moving to Madrid.
“There was nothing to talk about. It was an idea that, as far as we were concerned, would never come to fruition. Never.
“Everyone was aware of the fact that my family would never sanction the deal. Quite simply it was impossible.
“It wasn’t a financial decision, it was one of the heart. The Sensis would never have taken Totti away from the Romanisti. He was something that went beyond - a symbol.
“If he’d asked to go nothing would have changed, at least on my part. My position was always the same, I never even thought about it. Again, there was nothing to talk about.”
How would Totti’s career have changed if he had moved?
“I don’t want to even think about. Totti is this Totti, our Francesco.”