Francesco Totti slams Roma upon tearful exit
AS Roma legend Francesco Totti has slammed the club upon handing his resignation as director and departing after 30 years of service.
Totti, 42, joined the club as a 12 year old and went on to to spend his entire professional career in Rome, scoring 307 goals in 785 games – before retiring at the end of the 2016/17 season.
The 2006 FIFA World Cup winner went on to assume a role on the club’s board before being offered a role as a technical director last month by President James Pallotta.
However, the club legend has rejected what he deems as a gesture, claiming his influence, along with Danielle de Rossi – has been disrespected by the club’s hierarchy.
“I resign as a Roma executive,” he said, as per Football Italia. “I was hoping that this day never came, instead this ugly and heavy day has arrived. I never had the chance to work on the technical area with Roma.”
He added: “This is far worse than retiring as a player. Leaving Roma is like dying. I feel like it’d be better if I died.”
The 58-time capped Italy international went on to criticise the club’s current consultant and the American owners, whom he believes has caused divisions in the side that finished sixth in the league and missed out on UEFA Champions League qualification last season.
“This is a club to be loved and supported,” he added. “There shouldn’t be pro-Totti, pro-Pallotta or pro-Baldini factions. Just Roma fans. As I said, presidents pass, coaches pass, players pass, but the flags do not.
“They knew my intentions and what I wanted, to give so much to this club and team, but they never wanted me to, in all honesty. They excluded me from every decision.”
With De Rossi recently leaving the club after 18 years, Totti also touched on his exit, while making a bold statement about whether he’d return to the Giallorossi.
“If I was the president of Roma and had two icons like Totti and De Rossi, I’d put them in charge of everything,” Totti explained.
“Pallotta surrounded himself with the wrong people and he only listens to them. Everyone makes mistakes, but if you make the same mistakes for eight years, you have to ask yourself some questions. Something clearly is going wrong.”
“The main focus of certain people has been to remove Romans from Roma. In the end, the truth came out, because they achieved what they wanted.” – kickoff.com