My love for AS Roma dates back to the turn of the century. I remember watching Football Italia with my grandfather as a young Roman was subsitited after just 60 minutes or so. He’d already made three assists. His days work done.
That was Francesco Totti. My memory isn’t good enough to tell you if that was in the 1999/2000 season or the 2000/01 title winning season but it’s the first time I really became aware of Roma and Totti.
The King of Rome was already an idol for so many but his legendary status was all but confirmed as he logged the Scudetto and sealed Roma’s third title. They may have gone close many times over the following 16 years he served the club but that was the only league title he won.
I was lucky enough to see him play live once, at the Olimpico in Rome, against Juventus. The only names I saw on the backs of fan's shirts were Totti or De Rossi, easily 90% in Totti's favour.
The 2017/18 season, just under a year after he'd retired, Roma somehow found themselves lining up against Liverpool in a Champions League semi-final. It was an exhilarating tie but it was really odd to watch Roma without Totti in the side.
Earlier this year, James Richardson's Golazzo podcast did a two part series on Totti which I really enjoyed. It covered everything, his youth career before Roma and all the ups and downs since. Oh and his World Cup win too.
I highly recommend a listen if you're into football, whether you follow the Italian game or not. CNN also covered his career pretty well when he retired and if you have any doubts over Totti's talent, watch this:
While scrolling through the Apple News app, I came across an article that talked about Totti's performance at the 2006 World Cup.
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