It’s fair to say that Gonzalo Higuain’s £75.3 million move from Napoli to Juventus is one of the most controversial transfers in recent years.
The two Italian giants are, of course, fierce rivals and the Argentine striker has already established himself as a hate figure amongst Napoli fans.
But, it seems that it’s not just supporters of his former club that aren’t impressed with him.
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Higuain is now seen as a traitor and a money-grabbing mercenary but those insults certainly can’t be hurled at a certain Francesco Totti. The Italian, who turns 40 in September, has been at Roma ever since making his senior debut at the age of 16.
Totti has turned down numerous offers from so-called ‘bigger’ clubs during his career and has slated the attitudes of modern-day footballers - including Higuain.
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“Footballers today are a bit like nomads,” Totti told Gazzetta World.
“They follow money and not their hearts. Maybe that is the difference between me and all the others.
“Fans go to the stadium to have fun and see a player who is always on the same team – they expect not to be betrayed.
“Look at what has happened now with Higuain from Napoli to Juventus. It’s a disaster.
“But it is quite normal now that when a foreigner arrives in Italy and has a chance to go to another team to make more money. It’s a problem of mentality, there aren’t many foreigners like Maradona.”
Totti could have left Roma
Totti goes on to admit that, if he had the attitude of Higuain, he would have left Roma earlier in his career. Instead, he insists he played for passion, rather than the wages - something he wishes more players did.
“There are not many sportsmen who follow their hearts,” he added.
“If I had only thought about money I would have left Roma 10 years ago. For me it’s about passion, not about money."
Totti continued: “I have always loved these colours and always wanted to put on this shirt.”
“The sport has changed a lot.
“Now at the centre is money. Players change teams more often, perhaps to make more money. It’s more a business than a passion.”
To be fair, it’s hard to disagree with Totti’s comments. One-club players are extremely rare in modern football and, with the increasing money in the sport, players leaving clubs in search of a more lucrative contracts looks set to continue.
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