Saturday November 21 2020
Sabatini regrets Totti retirement advice

Former Roma director Walter Sabatini publicly apologised to Francesco Totti for urging him to retire. ‘I realise it was a huge mistake.’

The World Cup winner did eventually hang up his boots in July 2017, a couple of months shy of his 42nd birthday.

“I told him to call it a day, because I was afraid his qualities would decline and I would’ve been sad if he’d closed his career on a downward trajectory,” Sabatini said at a book presentation.

“However, I came to realise it was a huge mistake and I’d said something completely stupid, because he enjoyed himself when playing.

“As time went on, the sensation I’d made an error only increased. He enjoyed himself to the very end, so Francesco, I apologise to you. I said something dumb, one of many in my life.”

Totti smiled and accepted the apology, even assuring it was “a wonderful phrase and one I’ll keep with me forever.”