Francesco Totti is an Italian footballer who played his entire career in Rome for Roma and also for the Italian national team. Totti played 25 seasons for Roma (1992-2017) before hanging his booth on 17 July, 2017 after an illustrious career. He is presently the club director with Roma. He is often referred to as Er Bimbo de Oro (The Golden Boy), L’Ottavo Re di Roma (The Eighth King of Roma), Er Pupone (The Big Baby), Il Capitano (The Captain) and Il Gladiatore (The Gladiator) by various Italian sports media through his years.
Totti played as an attacking midfielder and forward during his playing time. He is renowned for his vision, technique and goal scoring ability. He is one of the very few players over time in football who stayed committed to a single club despite several offers from various European giants through the years.
After three years at Roma youth team, Totti made his first appearance for Roma senior team at age 16 under coach Vujadin Boskov against Brescia during 1992/1993 season. Totti was deployed as a second striker and scored his first goal against Foggia in 1994. He became a starter by 1995 and scored 16 goals over the next three seasons. In 1996/1997 season, Totti struggled to gain playing time under new manager Carlos Bianchi and was set to leave on loan in January but Roma then-Chairman Franco Sensi stopped the transfer which eventually lead to Bianchi leaving the club.
Under the new manager Zdenek Zerman, Totti matured as a player from a technical and tactical standpoint, He was deployed at the left wing in the 4-3-3 formation used by Zerman. During this time, he displayed greater responsibility for the team and was given the number 10 jersey. In the first season under Zerman he reached double digits in goal for the first time in his career. The following season he was given the captain armband in 1998 from then-captain Aldair. During Zerman two year stay, Totti scored 30 goal and provided 26 assists.
In 1999, Roma appointed Fabio Capello who switched their formation to 3-4-1-2 with Totti being utilized as an attacking midfielder and the club was being built around him. Totti continued his impressive goal scoring spree and was already Roma most important and influential player. Totti lifted the Seria A for the first and only time in 2001 and also the Super Coppa Italia in 2001. He broke his own personal goal scoring record by scoring 20 league goals in 2003/2004 season as they finished runners up in the Scudetto race.
Despite various managerial unbalance and players leaving the club, Roma maintained his impressive goal scoring record. Roma coach Luciano Spalletti in 2005, switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation deploying Totti as a lone striker and also van inventive ‘false 9’ role. 2006/2007 season was a personal high for Totti as he scored 26 goals in Seria A as well as 6 goals in the UEFA Champions League that year. During Claudio Raineiri reign after Spaletti resignation in 2009/2010 season saw Totti dip in form with Raineri being a defensive minded coach, but he was still getting goals that helped the team.
During 2011/2012 season, Totti initially received few starts under Luis Enrique because of injuries at the start of the campaign. Totti overcame his injuries and regained full form, scoring goals and he played in a reserved role as an attacking midfielder. After that season Luis Enrique resigned after a poor season failing to qualify them for European football for the first time in 15 years and the club appointed Zdenek Zeman, reuniting him with Totti after 13 years. Totti still keeping his form but Roma were not playing well and results were not going their way.
Totti continued his fine form but age was catching up with him as he was scoring less but his impact on the pitch was second to none as his team mates looked to him for inspiration and guidance. His final season for the club came in 2016/2017 season where he played 28 games scoring 3 goals. Totti made his final appearance for Roma in a 3-2 home win against Genoa coming on for Mo Salah in the 54th minute and received a standing ovation.
Totti made 58 appearances for Italy national team scoring 9 goals (1998-2006), He won the FIFA world cup in 2006, Mediterranean games(U-23) in 1997 and UEFA European U-21 championship in 1996. Totti played 786 games scoring 307 goals, he became Roma all time goal-scorer in the league, their most capped player and won few titles for them. He won numerous individual awards for Roma.
His name is already written in the history books of Italian football and the world of football at large. He is a source of inspiration to upcoming footballers. His career showed consistency with little scandal and controversy and he ended his career as the greatest player in Roma history and he will be remembered for his selfie goal celebration during a match.