Football

Francesco Totti.

What Francesco Totti wrote on the ball he kicked into crowd in last ever Roma game

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It's been almost a year since the curtains closed on Francesco Totti's illustrious career at Roma, where he spent 25 years, made 786 competitive appearances and scored 307 goals.

Now the club's director, the 41-year-old rejected offers from the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona as a player because he never had any intention of leaving Serie A.

Asked last month why he snubbed Europe's giants in favour of becoming the 'King of Rome', he said: "I never left because ever since I was young I wanted to wear only one shirt.

"My career was fantastic, the best moment was when I won the Scudetto. The thing I miss most about the pitch is pulling on my boots.

"But I'm lucky to live in another way as though I were a player. I'm in the dressing room, on the pitch, I talk to the Coach and I go to pre-season training.

"The only drawback is that I don't get changed and pull on my boots. I knew as soon as I joined the first team that football would be my life, then as I went along I realised it had become a job.

"When they called me the King of Rome it was an indescribable emotion."

It was Roma who actually confirmed Totti's retirement at the beginning of May 2017, with the Italian leaving at the end of the season and then making his own announcement.

AS Roma v Genoa CFC - Serie A

His last game was full of emotion as he cried on the pitch and gave the most heartwarming speech to Roma's adoring fans.

One of his parting gifts at the Stadio Olimpico was writing a message on his final match ball and kicking it into the crowd for one lucky supporter to keep.

That very ball has now emerged on Twitter and it's been confirmed exactly what Totti wrote: "Mi mancherai," which means, "I'll miss you," in Italian.

Football Italia covered the story last summer and it's unclear whether Totti's message was to the fans or football itself, but now there's photo evidence of his beautiful gesture.

He is and always will be the 'King of Rome'.

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Topics:
Francesco Totti
AS Roma
Italy Football
Football

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