Francesco Totti:The Last Emperor of Rome


Rome-the Eternal City and Italy’s capital is known for its two football clubs-Lazio and Roma where Roma established as its dominant side which is somewhere on the top of the Serie A,while Lazio is wandering in mid-table places.But this isn’t a story about the Derby della Capitale,but about a person who is the last emperor of the Eternal City,who who became the symbol of the Giallorossi of Roma,an Italian football legend who was loyal only to his only football club since he started his career and became an institution of the Giallorossi-Francesco Totti.It was 23 years ago when at the age of 16 Totti made his Serie A debut on the 28 of March 1993 in a match against Brescia which the Giallorossi won 2-0,but it was under coach Carlo Mazzone who coached the Giallorossi from 1993 to 1996 that Totti became a regular in the team and on the 4th of September 1994 in barely his second season in the Serie A Totti scored his first goal which began the journey of becoming the second highest all-time top scorer of the Serie A with 250 goals in which he trails the legendary Lazio player Silvio Piola by only 24 goals.After being in a crisis of form under Argentinian coach Carlos Bianchi where there was a speculation that he would leave Roma for Sampdoria with the transfer stopped by former Roma owner Franco Sensi,Totti thrived under Czech coach Zdenek Zeman where he was given the number 10 shirt which he wears to this day and on 31st of October 1998 he became the youngest ever captain in the Serie A.The period under Zeman represented Totti’s physical and mental maturation as a player where Zeman put him on the left wing where he could take on defenders in one on one situations.After Zeman was fired in 1999 and was replaced with legendary coach Fabio Capello which was given the task of winning the Serie A title with Roma,the 2000-01 season represented for Totti one of his biggest moments in his career where he won his first and only Serie A title to day and was the Serie A Footballer Of The Year in 2001 and 2003 combined with a Supercoppa Italiana victory against Fiorentina in August 2001.Also was nominated for the Ballon d’Or in 2000 he came 14th,but in 2001 came suprisingly 5th.In the following seasons he established himself as a hero among Roma fans and one of the symbols of the club itself.In the following years after the Serie A title Totti would play a critical role in the club besides being short on trophies but making memorable moments:in 2002 Totti scored the only goal against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu which marked a victory of an Italian club in Madrid in 35 years and despite finishing only eigth in the Sere A,the Giallorossi made a run to the final of the Coppa Italia where they were defeated by AC Milan 6-3 in agreggate score but Totti scored three goals in both matches oft he Coppa Italia final.In the following 2003-04 season while Roma was chasing the Serie A title for most of the season which they lost to AC Milan,Totti scored 20 goals which was his best.But there are two moments of the 2000s which defined Francesco Totti and his career:First was the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany where in the round of 16 scored the penalty in the match against Australia which gave Italy the victory and Italy went all the way to win the World Cup and thanks to his perfomances Totti was selected in the All-Star Team of the World Cup and the second were the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italia victories in 2007 against Inter where Totti played critical roles.In the years between 2009 and 2011 Totti struggled with injures and problems in the club with coach Claudio Ranieri which after a loss against Genoa in February 2011 was forced to resign.With the arrival of Totti’s former teammate Vincenzo Montella at the bench of the Giallorossi also marked the return of Totti at the field and on the 20th of March in a 2-2 draw where he scored both goals for Roma against Fiorentina Totti made history by scoring more than 200 goals and becoming the sixth Serie A player to surpass that number,while on the 21st of October 2013 in the 2-4 away victory against Genoa he became the third highest goal scorer of the Serie A.And besides that in the recent seasons due to his advanced age he was scoring less goals,nevertheless he continued to play for Roma and curretly holds 606 appearances in the Serie A which puts him third with 9 appearances less than Inter legend Javier Zanetti which will be toppled somewhere this season and 41 behind all-time appearance record holder and Milan legend Paolo Maldini.Now at the age of 40 and probably playing his last season in the shirt of Giallorossi,Totti has achieved great feats and broke many records in Italian football but most notably he became known for his loyalty to Roma for all of his playing career since loyalty in to one football club is rarely to be seen in World and Italian football today.Once Totti will retire probably in May 2017,Italian and World football will lose an icon which defined AS Roma and was known as the last emperor of Rome.


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