October 20, 2013 by backofthenetjl
Even as a 37-year old appearing to be coming to the end of his days in the beautiful game, Francesco Totti is still going unbelievably strong and continuing to deliver us with magical moments. Just the sight of him with a ball at his phenomenal feet leaves us in awe. To many, he is merely one of those players you can’t help but marvel at, the way he trots around with such elegance and flamboyance, effortlessly spraying the ball around left, right and centre; the manner in which he plays his football.
There are many reasons why fans and players alike develop an admiration for such a stylish footballer like Totti; one of them being due to the loyalty and devotion he has shown to his beloved Roma. The mercurial Italian has stuck by his side in the most demanding of times; therefore all the honours and achievements he has acquired with the Giallorossi have been well deserved. Recently The Gladiator revealed that he once snubbed a massive move to Real Madrid in 2004; Madrid were quite possibly the biggest club in the world, yet Totti continued to serve his side magnificently and still continues to do so. You simply cannot question his commitment and loyalty; after all he is Roma through and through.
Totti has spent his entire career with Roma and there is no doubt that he is one of the finest players of his generation. We all know what sort of player he is as we’ve seen him produce remarkable moments in huge games, so I won’t go too in-depth as to how this magician plays his football. What I will discuss, is the impact he has had on the game of football. Noticeably, there have been a number of players who have fulfilled the role of a number 10, but no player plays in that position like Totti does, he has made it his own.
It would be wrong to say Totti introduced the role of a trequarista; however it’s evident to see that he has enhanced the role as far as it could possibly go. Operating behind the striker, Totti has been virtually impossible to stop, he has been able to control the pace of the game so far up the pitch and it’s a quality no other player has ever been able to replicate. He sort of created his own position on the pitch, in the sense that the area and space he played in was not occupied by any other player. The edge of the box is Totti’s zone, there he can decide whether to strike a sumptuous shot towards goal, or deliver a jaw-dropping pass into the path of a team-mate. Totti is the perfect number 10.
Fabio Capello was the coach who brought the best out of Totti in the 2000-2001 campaign; the season in which Roma claimed the Scudetto. Capello identified how key Totti was to this side and he built the team around him. In that trequarista role, Totti was the heartbeat of the Roma side, key to every attack they constructed; in the thick of all the action. His contribution to the side in that season was impeccable; he hit thirteen goals in the season and contributed even further with numerous assists. Totti didn’t single-handedly win the Scudetto, because there were other players in the side who did their bit for the team, but he carried the Romans forward and in the most difficult of situations, Totti’s class saw them through. They could rely on him to come up with the goods, even if it wasn’t going to plan.
Looking at some stats on this phenomenon, I was amazed of the record he has at Roma. Since his progression to the first team squad in 1993, Totti has made over 500 appearances for Roma, scoring over 200 goals; a staggering stat. To score over 200 goals for a club which hasn’t been as successful as some of the other elite clubs in Serie A, just shows the ability which Totti possesses. To label him as a “good player” would be a massive understatement. The purpose of this article was to outline how Totti is still going strong even as his career comes to a close, so to prove this, here are some stats on Totti from the 2012/13 season: Totti created a total of 102 chances in Serie A; evidence of the almost perfect vision he has always had in his career. He scored 12 goals, which is extremely commendable for an ageing player. Totti also contributed to the side with 12 assists, again highlighting his incredible ability to play team-mates into dangerous positions. Players seem to be on the verge of declining once their retirement edges closer; this is not the case for Rome’s prodigal son.
Interestingly, Totti clearly has no intentions to hang up his boots any time soon, with him putting pen to paper on a new two-year contract extension at the Stadio Olimpico. It is a new era for La Maggica with Rudi Garcia at the helm; one which has the potential to wake up the sleeping giant that Roma have become in recent years. Yet despite a number of changes occurring in the summer, Totti remains an important figure; not only does his valuable experience prove to be useful, he still boasts an exceptional level of quality; quality which has played it’s part in guiding Roma to the very top of the Serie A table, where at the time of writing this they possess a 100% record, conceding just one goal. There is optimism surrounding the red side of Rome; Totti remains a significant element of that.
Totti is now 37 years of age, so you sense that his glittering career may come to a close anytime soon. Admittedly, he has lost a few yards of pace and he is growing old, but the talent is still there; it certainly hasn’t disappeared. If he does decide to retire in a few years, I’d expect him to still have some form of involvement with Roma; his affection for Roma will never die. There’s no doubt that a player of his calibre is irreplaceable, so be grateful that you have witnessed the elegance and magic of Francesco Totti. Francesco Totti – A Roma, Calcio and football icon.
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