Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Roma legend Francesco Totti has revealed it took him “two years to come to terms” with retirement “because it was not my decision” – and revealed he once rejected a transfer to Real Madrid.
Totti, 43, made the comments during an interview with English streaming platform DAZN where he spoke about retirement and the differences of working as a footballer and a director.
Speaking about his career the former striker said: “I always had passion and that is everything for a footballer. If you work with determination and without worry, something incredible comes out of it.
“The end, however, comes sooner or later. Mine was unexpected but fair. It took me two years to come to terms with it because it was not my decision.”
Totti went on to reveal he was approached by Real Madrid halfway through his career saying: “I have never regretted any of my decisions but when I was 25 years old and receiving calls from the Real Madrid ‘Galacticos’ I was a little disoriented.
“Even today when I run into players from that squad they tell me ‘you are crazy for turning down the strongest club in the world’.
“I made my decision based on love, I do not deny it. Playing 25 years with my favourite shirt was a double victory.”
When speaking of his role as a director for Roma, he admitted: “I would have ripped my clothes off just to play when I was a director.
“From the outside, everything is simpler. Everyone is good, strong and you judge the players on the pitch but someone who has played knows very well that they are two different things.
Speaking about how his relationship with the media changed after his retirement he said: “As a player, I was more forthcoming, I was myself, while as a manager I had to be careful with what I said.”
Speaking of a return to the Roma as he is no longer associated with the club, he said: “Will I return to Roma? Never say never.
“A 25-year-old Totti today certainly would not play for Roma, they would have sold me. I try to find young talent. I am someone that always gets involved, I like learning new things. I want to see what the future will bring, surely positive things.”
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