The curtain could be about to close on Francesco Totti’s 23-year association with Roma.
The Italian has reportedly been offered a new contract at the Stadio Olimpico but there are rumours that he might join fellow Serie A icon Andrea Pirlo in the MLS.
At 39, the attacker was expected to begin his descent into retirement years ago. So it was rather odd to hear a Spanish reporter ask Barcelona boss Luis Enrique if he would consider bringing Totti to the Camp Nou.
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Players don’t go to Barcelona to retire. They face a continuous fight for a starting spot and are expected to compete for three trophies each season.
Totti would revel in the challenge but, sadly, Enrique doubts he would be interested in a move.
He joyfully replied, per Goal: “Why not? If they sell him cheap!”
“Francesco Totti is the living history of Roma and I think he would like to finish his career at that club.
“It would be very strange to see him wearing another shirt, but if he wanted to then he could play for anyone. But as a bit of a Roma fan, I hope he stays there.”
He's never won the Champions League
Totti would be included in any Best Player Never To Have Won The Champions League XI, and he’s highly unlikely to ever win Europe’s finest tournament at Roma.
For that reason alone, Enrique should do everything he can to bring Totti to Catalonia and give him the chance to lift the big-eared trophy. Make it happen, Luis.
One person who wants Roma to extend Totti’s stay is Giovanni Malago, chief of the Italian Olympic Committee. According to Malago, the forward is a “modern day hero”.
“Totti is an amazing story, a fairytale that is almost too good to be true,” he said, per Sky Sports. “For those who love sport, football and Roma it's a great story. Francesco is a modern day hero.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for him. If it's in the club's professional interests, I think it makes sense [to give him a contract].”
Totti to the MLS?
America has earned a reputation as a retirement home for ageing players and the MLS could be about to add another World Cup winner to its growing league.
New York Cosmos are ready to pounce if Roma do not offer an extension, their coach Giovanni Savarese telling Gazzetta dello Sport that contact has been made.
“We've had contact. Besides, any coach in the world would be interested in player like Totti," Savarese said, per Sky Sports. “His age shouldn't be an issue, it's what he brings to the team.”
We prefer the Barcelona rumour, quite frankly.