Francesco Totti didn’t mean for book to result in Roma exec quitting job

Gab Marcotti shares his favourite memory of Francesco Totti and looks back on the Roma legend’s career with the club.

Francesco Totti says he would have preferred to end his career in a different manner, but insists he did not intend to get things off his chest with his autobiography after Franco Baldini tendered his resignation from Roma’s executive committee due to comments Totti made.

Totti presented his autobiography in the iconic venue of Rome’s Colosseum on Thursday night.

One of the chapters that has caused the most controversy concerned the conclusion of his career in the summer of 2017. Totti suggested it was Baldini who had forced him to retire and, as a reaction to those remarks, Baldini on Wednesday informed Roma president James Pallotta that he would be leaving the club.

“That is not what I had hoped for,” Totti said. “I didn’t do this to get something off my chest. In fact, I hope there is nobody else who could get angry. I’m sorry — I never intended to cause any uproar.

“I would have preferred to have decided [when to retire] with my own head and my own body. If I would have done that, maybe it would have been a better ending.”

His appearance at the Colosseum was nevertheless a fitting moment for him to close the playing chapter of his life and open the next.

“This is a unique emotion,” Totti said. “When you enter into a magical place like this, you feel something different, particularly if you are Roman. I’m flattered, and it’s my birthday too, even if that’s something we should put to one side.

“In my book, I don’t talk so much as a footballer but as a lad who grew up in the street and became a man. The streets help you to understand a lot of things as that is how things used to be; it was much more intense and there was more truth, and I’m happy with the journey I took.”

As for the future, Totti, who enrolled in a course to obtain a coaching badge earlier this year only to stop attending soon after, feels the director’s role he assumed at Rome since hanging up his boots last year is the one he can picture himself staying in.

“It’s still a question mark,” he said. “But I do think that being the link between the team and the coaching staff is what I am most suited to.”

In that role, he would like to win more trophies than the one Serie A and two Coppa Italias he won during his playing days for the Giallorossi, even if he says each one was special.

“Winning the Scudetto with Roma is like winning 10 somewhere else,” he said. “I would have liked to have won more, but respect and faith are the most important things that I could have given to my people.”