Saturday January 8 2011
Ranieri: 'Totti at the centre of my Roma'

Claudio Ranieri prepares for a tough test against Sampdoria, but takes time to reiterate “Francesco Totti is at the centre of my Roma plans.”

The captain has been dropped several times this season, as the squad rotation involves Marco Borriello, Mirko Vucinic, Jeremy Menez and Adriano, leading to suggestions he was unhappy.

“As far as I know, Totti has another four years left on his contract as a player and a future as a director,” insisted Ranieri.

“He is Roma. I don't see a future Roma without Totti and he is at the centre of my Roma plans.

“Every champion in this squad stands out for his individual qualities. Mirko is a mature player, for example, and he knows how much I believe in him.”

Daniele De Rossi was substituted at half-time during the 4-2 win over Catania on Thursday and again looks set to miss out.

“He has not yet fully recovered, as he still has a cough and flu symptoms. We'll see how he's feeling tomorrow morning.”

This is a special game for Roma, who essentially threw away the Scudetto with a home defeat to Sampdoria in the final weeks of last season.

“Last term represented a painful defeat, whereas tomorrow could be our launching pad. We are coming off three consecutive wins and face a Samp side that has done very well on home turf, so it will be a difficult and entertaining match.”