Francesco Totti confessed he will “not set foot” in the Roma training ground while Jim Pallotta is President. “When I drop my son off at the gate, I feel like crying. I'd have cut my leg off for Roma.”
The Giallorossi icon was pushed towards retirement at the age of 40 when the club refused to offer him a new contract, something that still stings to this day.
“I didn’t want to stop playing. I was in good shape physically, so why should I? It’s not that I wanted to play all the time or was trying to force anyone to play me,” Totti told Luca Toni in an Instagram Live conversation.
“I didn’t want to ruin my time at Roma, so it was better to just retire rather than go somewhere else for a year. I am not stupid, I’m not 10 years old, but if I am in good shape physically and mentally, I can see during training that I still have a lot to give and I’m second to no-one…
“I would’ve been happy just being part of the group in the dressing room, helping the coach during difficult moments, working with the younger players to pass on my experience. Every time I came off the bench, the stadium would light up and that atmosphere helped everyone.
“There’s an end to everything, I’m not dumb, but the problem is that some people told me it would be my decision and then shoved me to one side. I was upset, because I would’ve cut my leg off for Roma.”
When Totti did hang up his boots, he briefly worked as a director at the club, but quit with a bitter press conference in which he blasted President Pallotta, consultant Franco Baldini and others for their decisions.
During this Instagram Live discussion, Toni laughed when saying he had a good rapport with the current President.
“Look, as long as the situation is like this, I will not set foot in Trigoria. Every time I drop Cristian off for training, I stay outside the gate. Sometimes I sit in the car and feel like crying to think that after 30 years, I can’t even set foot in there now.
“I left and that’s that. I still have great friends and they come outside the gate to say hello. Every now and then, my son asks me to come in to watch him play, but I can’t do it. That would kill me.”