Friday September 2 2011
Sabatini: 'Totti must take a step back!'

Roma director Walter Sabatini openly warned Francesco Totti “must take a step back” after a row with Luis Enrique and Franco Baldini.

The Giallorossi have been very public in their disagreements this summer, especially after Coach Enrique dropped Totti for the Europa League games, prompting a furious response from media and fans.

“Our transfer strategy won't do much good if this irritating situation continues,” slammed director of sport Sabatini.

“The moment has come to face the matter that involves Totti, Enrique and Baldini, as I do not like this saga at all. It is dangerous and must be resolved, as there is a worrying deadlock. We can't carry on like this, as the whole city can hear us, while we should be focusing only on football.”

It was well known that Totti reacted angrily to being dropped by Enrique, but Baldini (pictured) is also pushing the captain to one side. Although technically still general manager for England, Baldini has effectively been working at Roma for months.

“Everyone has to do something,” continued Sabatini. “Perhaps the person least at fault here is the Coach.

“It's not true that there is a Baldini ‘faction' within the club going against Totti. At the same time, I cannot believe there is a plan to annihilate Totti that comes from Baldini.

“He is a great champion, but has to be treated like all the others. We've got to end this idea that if he doesn't play, then he has been betrayed. Totti is the one who has to get himself out of these problems.

“Does he need to step aside? No, just let the Coach work in a relaxed environment, even if the tactician decides not to field him. Totti has to make sure he isn't described as someone who suffers on the bench, or the man who destroyed the last few Roma Coaches.

“He has to help the Coach. In modern football there are no untouchable players and I ask him for this sacrifice.”

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