Francesco Totti just keeps getting better and better for Roma. The ever-green Italian forward scored in his side’s 3-0 win over Chievo, helping them bridge the gap on champions and league leaders Juventus to just a point in the process.
And with age showing no sign of fading the powers of one of Serie A’s greatest servants, the 38-year-old may just fire Rudi Garcia’s side to the Scudetto this term.
Totti, like Ryan Giggs of Manchester United, is a rare gem and one club wonder currently in the midst of his 23rd season at the Stadio Olympico. Despite years of interest from the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United the veteran has always remained faithful to the fans that see him in a faultless light.
The Scudetto of 2001 was his biggest moment in the capital, helping etch Fabio Capello’s name into the history books with a stunning surge to the league crown.
His popularity also stems from the integral role he played in Italy’s 2006 World Cup triumph in Germany – scoring the winner against Australia and together with Andrea Pirlo providing the bullets for Luca Toni to fire.
In 2007 he won the Golden Boot despite his side losing out on the title to Inter Milan, and remains a crucial part of the attacking jigsaw Garcia is attempting to build.
Totti has hit the ground running this term, scoring three times in nine appearances to demonstrate why many are tipping them to dethrone the Old Lady as champions of the country.
Even in Europe Roma have been breathtaking, and after thumping CSKA Moscow they then left England with a point from Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City side.
The Italian giants have dropped just three points all season – all taken by Juventus in the 3-2 defeat earlier this month – but Totti’s form is seeing them maintain their title mission.
His goal against Chievo was his third in as many games, whilst he also provided a third assist of the season for midfielder Adem Ljajic to reap the rewards.
Rumours have been spreading that Antonio Conte may even convince him to perform a retirement U-turn over his national duty, but the Italian will most likely snub that in favour of giving Roma the greatest chances of silverware.
The tussle between themselves and Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus promises to be enthralling, and may even help Serie A to blossom once again.
It will be 14 years in May since Totti was part of a league winning side, and it could be the perfect fairytale if he helps them end that agonising wait.