Sunday December 8 2019
Totti: 'I was Roma scapegoat'

Francesco Totti says he was "made a scapegoat" during his final season, but feels current coach Paulo Fonseca "understands what it means to be at Roma."

Totti was speaking at a book festival in the capital today and discussed a myriad of topics, including his quarter-century as a player for Roma.

The Rome native says he is enjoying Paulo Fonseca’s iteration of the Giallorossi thus far.

“I am happy with the team at the moment and that Fonseca has understood what it means to be at Roma. He has transmitted positivity and energy to the team that was in difficulty initially.

“We think and hope that it’s a positive step because Roma must be among the top clubs in Europe.”

Totti famously rejected offers to join Milan and Real Madrid at his peak during the mid 2000s, and he spoke about the desire to stay with his boyhood club.

“It was a choice of the heart to wear a single shirt. For me the responsibility was double, as a Roman and a Roman player for Roma. It was the best victory for me.

“I put Roma in front of everything and everyone and I am proud of what I gave to the team. I always walk with my head held high.

“I would relive all 25 years as a Roma player, including the difficult moments. Spending that amount of time in your home with so many players passing through is never easy. As captain I had to quash some things that never came out.”

The 2006 World Cup winner will never shake off the bitterness from his final season, when he was sidelined by Luciano Spalletti in 2016-17.

“I wouldn’t relive the last year as a player. The manner in which things happened. I was made a scapegoat for everything. But at the same time I wanted to put the team ahead of everything so that it could walk on its own two feet. Roma is Roma and Totti was a part of that Roma team.”

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