There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Francesco Totti said farewell to AS Roma on Sunday.
The Italian legend made his final appearance for Roma in their 3-2 over Genoa as the Serie A season drew to a close.
It brings to an end Totti’s illustrious 25-year career at Roma. He truly was Il Re di Roma - The King of Rome.
Totti, who made his Roma debut at the age of 16, made 786 appearances for I Giallorossi. So it was no surprise that yesterday’s match was made all about Totti, the player who rejected the chance to play for Real Madrid to stay at the the only club he will ever love.
What’s next for the 2006 World Cup winner isn’t clear. It’s expected he will become a Roma director, although there are reports he could continue his career elsewhere.
Totti: 'I like to think of my career as a fairy-tale'
Totti delivered an emotional speech to those inside Roma’s stadium in which he admitted he is fearful of what’s next in his life.
“I want to dedicate this letter to all the children who cheered me on, to those who perhaps grew up with me and became fathers," Totti said, per ESPN FC.
"I like to think of my career as a fairy-tale to tell ... and this is the worst part. Now it really is over. I take off my shirt for the last time. I will fold it nicely, even if I have to admit I'm not ready to say it's over and maybe I never will be."
He added: "Sorry if during this period I didn't give interviews or clarified my thoughts, but it's not easy to switch that light off. Now I am afraid. It's not the same fear you have in front of the goal when you need to score a penalty. This time I cannot see through the holes in the net what lies beyond.
"So allow me to be a little afraid. This time I am the one who needs you and your warmth. What you've always shown me. With your affection, I will certainly be able to turn the page and throw myself into a new adventure.”
Gerrard and Ramos paid tribute
The tributes have come flooding in.
“A special player who deserves all the accolades that come his way,” Steven Gerrard wrote on Instagram. “Huge respect for his loyalty to his team.”
Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos said Totti will be “remembered as one of the greats” in a Twitter video.
Torres has also paid tribute to Totti
Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres has paid his own tribute, and it’s rather lovely.
“I will like to be like @Totti. What a legend. Congrats on your career and having everybody’s respect around the world #TottiLegend,” Torres wrote.
Perfect. Although if Torres wanted to be like Totti, he would never have left Atleti!
What's your favourite memory of Francesco Totti? Let us know in the comments section below!
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