Wednesday April 28 2021
SAF wanted Totti at United: 'He didn't want to leave Rome'

Sir Alex Ferguson recalls Manchester United’s historic 7-1 win over Roma in the Champions League and admits he tried to sign Francesco Totti.

The former United coach spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of the semi-finals of the Europa League on Thursday.

The historic win came in the quarter-final of the Champions League in 2007 and Ferguson said he ‘immediately knew’ it was going to be a special night at Old Trafford.

“Each player proposed his best music and all together they composed a sublime symphony,” Ferguson told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I immediately had the feeling that I was living one of those nights that rarely happens in the life of a coach.”

Ferguson revealed Luciano Spalletti came to his office after the match, for a traditional ritual of sharing a glass of wine with the opposition.

“I was pleased that Spalletti accepted the invitation, despite the result and the elimination,” Ferguson said.

“He came to my office for our drink and the fact that he showed up, keeping his promise, was a demonstration of a strong personality.

“I can imagine it wasn’t easy for him to toast me, but he didn’t back down, like a true sportsman.”

The Manchester United legend mentioned Totti in his autobiography and was asked is he ever tried to sign the World Cup winner.

“We liked the player and we would have liked to include him in our script,” Ferguson continued. “But when we expressed our interest, it immediately became clear that Totti didn’t want to leave Rome.

“He was deeply attached to his city. His CV is clear. Totti has only worn the Roma shirt.”