Francesco Totti insists he ‘never demanded’ anything from Roma and reveals he eventually 'gave up' in the ‘impossible conditions’ under Luciano Spalletti.
The World Cup winner spoke to Vanity Fair ahead of the release of his docu-film ‘My name is Francesco Totti’ and in the interview, given before but published only days after the death of his father Enzo, the former hero stressed he never ‘asked for anything but the possibility to win’.
“Beyond the children, the family, the things that really matters. The given word,” Totti told Vanity Fair. “You don’t need signatures, contracts or lawyers. Just a handshake.
“Just look into each other’s eyes. Some things I have been taught ever since I was a child and still believe in.
“I like to joke, be ironic and play down, but behind a joke there’s often the truth,” Totti added. “Sometimes it was better not to express the truth.
“I knew, or thought, it would create problems. I would only do harm, to myself and the club. I preferred to avoid it.
“Hearing so many false rumours about me over the years, it made me suffer. There were times when I went to war, to disprove the lies they told in the newspapers, on the radio or on TV.
“I’m a touchy person.”
Totti was one of the leaders at the Giallorossi, but he insists he never ‘demanded’ anything from the coaches.
“It’s nonsense, There’s not a single teammate or coach among the many I have met, who can tell me to my face: ‘You have decided, you have asked, you have demanded’.
“I will always hold my head high because I trained and I never said, ‘do this or do that’. I never asked for anything, apart from being able to win.
“I wanted to. I wanted strong players like [Gianluigi] Buffon, [Lillian] Thuram and [Fabio] Cannavaro, because I had no desire to be in the background when the others celebrated.
“What’s the fault in that?”
Totti played his last match for Roma on May 28, 2017, and Roma had confirmed midway through the season that he wouldn’t get a new deal at the Olimpico.
But the 44-year-old, who played 786 games and socred 307 goals for the Giallorossi, admitted he had considered to stop the year before.
“I knew that sooner or later, the moment would come,” Totti admitted. “But I began to consider the hypothesis only during the last year.
“In the previous season, I realised they didn’t want to renew my contract. But everytime I came on, I changed the match and scored goals.”
Totti admitted he ‘should have retired’ after scoring a brace in the 3-2 win against Torino in April 2016.
“After the game against Torino, when I entered four minutes before the end, they renewed my deal by popular acclaim.
“I should have retired on that perfect evening, after the apotheosis, as Ilary [his wife] suggested and I also thought about it.
“Then, after a sleepless night, I decided to continue. Unfortunately, the relationship with him was already compromised.”
Totti refers to the turbulent relationship with coach Luciano Spalletti, a situation that pushed the former Italy international to ‘give up for the first time’.
“The more I tried, the more he looked to break it, looked for provocation, a quarrel or a pretext,” he said.
“I quickly understood that it would be impossible to continue in those conditions. So, for the first time in 25 years, between January and February, I gave up.”
In April 2016, reports emerged of a spectacular row between the coach and the captain after a draw with Atalanta in Bergamo.
“In football you are wrong, we are all wrong. Let’s say I should understand what mood I’m in on that day, how I woke up,” Totti added. “Understand if I’m in a good mood."
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