Monday June 17 2019
Roma: Who is Franco Baldini?

Franco Baldini is considered public enemy No 1 in the eyes of many Roma fans, but who exactly is he?

Baldini [pictured, left] was regularly called out by Francesco Totti during his explosive farewell Press conference on Monday, only adding to the mystery surrounding the man in question.

Although not Roman by birth or having any links to Roma as a player, the 58-year-old’s career off the field has been almost exclusively tied to the Giallorossi.

His story with the Lupi began in 1998, when then-President Franco Sensi appointed him first as a consultant and then sporting director.

Alongside Fabio Capello he helped build the Roma side who won the Scudetto in 2001, bringing in the likes of Gabriel Batistuta, Emerson and Walter Samuel.

Baldini left the club in March 2005, citing differences with their board, now manned by Sensi’s daughter Rosella due to his own ill-health.

His relationship with Roma by then had cracked after he orchestrated a deal for Philippe Mexes, despite the defender being still under contract with French side Auxerre.

The Giallorossi were ordered to pay Auxerre €7m in compensation and were given a two-window transfer ban, although that was later lifted.

Baldini’s next move was to Real Madrid in 2006, where he reunited with Capello as a club secretary and was credited with their signings of Fernando Gago and Gonzalo Higuain.

He then followed the Coach to become his assistant with the English national team, guiding them to the 2010 World Cup, where they went out to Germany in the last 16.

The executive returned to Roma in October 2011, taking up the role of general manager shortly after their American takeover and overseeing a period of transition.

He departed again in June 2013 to become Tottenham Hotspur’s technical director but was heavily criticised for Spurs’ use of the £100m they received from Gareth Bale’s sale.

Giving the green light to seven signings, three of which were club-record deals, only Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen remain at White Hart Lane.

He stepped down two years later to take a break from football and subsequently embarked on a third stint at Roma in the summer of 2016, this time as an external consultant dealing with sponsors, international relations and communication.

Despite not holding a formal title on their board and being based in London, Baldini has a position on the Lupi’s executive committee.

He effectively acts as the right-hand man to President James Pallotta, although Totti’s scathing remarks have only heightened suspicions that his influence goes way beyond that.

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