Arrigo Sacchi reveals he wanted to sign Francesco Totti twice during his career and compares the Roma talisman to Michael Jordan.
Tributes have been flooding in for the Giallorossi captain, who made his first senior appearance for the club in 1993 and turns 40 on Tuesday.
“A boy of extraordinary quality,” former Milan boss Sacchi said when asked to sum up Totti. “I have always liked him. When I went back to Milan after being with the national team, I tried to sign him.
“When I was director of football at Real Madrid, Zidane made it clear that he would be retiring soon. I went to the President Florentino Perez and said, ‘The only person who can replace him is Totti.’
“But he didn’t want to leave Roma.”
Sacchi then praised Totti for his all-round attacking abilities, comparing his technique and precision to basketball icon Jordan.
“He has always played for the team, all over the pitch. He has also learned how to score a lot of goals.
“Free kicks, assists, finishing and goals. He has the precision of Michael Jordan.”
Finally, Sacchi feels Zdenek Zeman is the Roma boss to have extracted the most out of Totti’s potential, but feels the player could have made even more of an impact had it not been for the shortcomings of other Coaches.
“Zeman, who loved him and who could have taken him to even higher levels. Totti could have done more, but he came across some Coaches who were, let’s say, more conservative.”
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://www.premiersports.com/subscribenow