Francesco Totti

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"Totti" redirects here. For the Italian boxer, see Benito Totti.
Francesco Totti
Francesco Totti Chelsea vs AS-Roma 10AUG2013.jpg
Totti playing for Roma in 2013
Personal information
Full name Francesco Totti
Date of birth (1976-09-27) 27 September 1976 (age 38)
Place of birth Rome, Italy
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Playing position Forward
Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 10
Youth career
1984 Fortitudo Luditor
1984–1986 Smit Trastevere
1986–1989 Lodigiani
1989–1992 Roma
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992– Roma 582 (240)
National team
1992 Italy U15 6 (3)
1991–1992 Italy U16 13 (2)
1993–1995 Italy U18 14 (7)
1995–1997 Italy U21 8 (4)
1997 Italy U23 4 (2)
1998–2006 Italy 58 (9)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:00, 16 March 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Francesco Totti, Ufficiale OMRI,[2] (Italian pronunciation: [franˈtʃesko ˈtɔtti]; born 27 September 1976) is an Italian footballer who plays for and captains Serie A club Roma. His primary playing positions are those of an attacking midfielder or supporting forward, although he has also been successfully utilized as a lone striker, or even as a winger. Totti has spent his entire career at Roma, is the number-one goalscorer and the most capped player in the club's history.

A creative playmaker renowned for his technical ability and goal scoring, Totti is considered to be one of the greatest Italian players of all time,[3][4][5] one of the most talented players of his generation,[6][7] and also, by some, as Roma's greatest ever player.[8] He holds the record for having won 11 Oscar del calcio AIC, including five Italian Footballer of the Year awards, two Serie A Footballer of the Year awards, two Serie A goal of the year awards, one Serie A Goalscorer of the Year award and one Serie A Young Footballer of the Year award. Totti is currently the sixth highest scoring Italian in all competitions, with 312 goals.[9]

A 2006 World Cup winner and Euro 2000 finalist, Totti was selected in the All-Star team for both tournaments. He has won many individual awards but the most important ones are the Golden Shoe[10] and the Golden Foot.[11] In 2004 he was named in the FIFA 100, a list of the world's greatest living players selected by Pelé as a part of FIFA's centenary celebrations.[12] In 2011, Totti was recognized by IFFHS as the most popular footballer in Europe.[13]

Often referred to as Il Bimbo d'Oro (The Golden Boy), Il Re di Roma (The King of Rome), Er Pupone (The Big Baby), and Il Gladiatore (The Gladiator) by the Italian sports media, Totti is currently the top active Serie A goalscorer and second all-time in league history with 240 goals.

Early career[edit]

Totti was born in Rome, to parents Lorenzo and Fiorella Totti. He was raised in Porta Metronia neighbourhood. He idolized ex-Roma captain Giuseppe Giannini and regularly played football with older boys. Totti began to play youth team football at the age of 8, with Fortitudo, then he joined Smit Trastevere and Lodigiani. After coming to the attention of scouts, his mother refused a lucrative offer from AC Milan to remain in his hometown, and he joined the Roma youth squad in 1989.

Club career with Roma[edit]

Early seasons[edit]

After three years on the youth team, Totti made his first appearance for Roma's senior side in Serie A at the age of sixteen, when coach Vujadin Boškov let him play in the 2–0 away victory against Brescia on 28 March 1993. In the following season under Carlo Mazzone, Totti began to play more games and scored his first goal on 4 September 1994 in a 1–1 draw against Foggia.[14] By 1995, Totti had become a regular in Roma's starting line-up and scored 16 goals during the next three seasons, publicly praising his manager Mazzone for helping him to develop as a footballer. After Mazzone left Roma, Totti worked with Carlos Bianchi, and also enjoyed a short-spell with one of the most important managers in the club's history, Nils Liedholm.

Zeman's first spell[edit]

Totti's years under Zeman represented a period of both physical and mental maturation as a player. From a technical and tactical standpoint, he proved to be compatible in the rigid schemes of the Bohemian coach; he also became physically more powerful and complete. From a mental perspective, he played a role of greater responsibility in the team, and he was presented him with number 10 jersey. His first season under Zeman started well, and Totti took advantage of the 4-3-3 formation, scoring as many goals as possible and serving assists for his teammates. On 9 November 1997, he scored his first double in his Serie A career, against Bari, cementing his status as one of the most promising young players of of the competition; furthermore, some critics began to suggest that coach Cesare Maldini should include him in the Italian squad for the 1998 World Cup in France. It was generally an excellent start to the season, the exception being on 14 December 1997, when the match against Inter ended with a 3-0 defeat and the sending off of Totti. The goal-drought that resulted after that match was finally brought to an end in a 2-0 win against Napoli on 22 February 1998. From that match on until the end of the season, Totti scored 8 goals and contributed to Roma's fourth place league finish that year. The following season began with Totti being awarded the Guerin d'Oro for the 1997-98 season, given to him for his consistent performances throughout the course of the previous Serie A season of. In 1998, at the age of 21, Totti became the team captain, and began to gain recognition as a club symbol and as a leader. Overall, he scored 30 goals during Zeman's two-year managerial stint. Although Totti was not called up for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, he was named the Serie A Young Footballer of the Year for the 1998–99 season.

Capello and the 2001 Scudetto[edit]

Decal of Totti alongside the Scudetto shield, displayed on a house in Rome.

By the 2000–01 campaign, Roma, then coached by Fabio Capello, was building a competitive team around Totti, who had started to play as a creative attacking midfielder to take advantage of his passing skills and playmaking abilities. Totti scored in a 2-0 home win over Bologna on his season debut. Against Udinese, Totti scored with a powerful left-footed volley. He confirmed his goalscoring form by scoring against Napoli at home in a 3-0 victory. Totti continued to play a decisive role in leading the club to the top of the table, keeping a comfortable lead over their rivals Juventus. On 17 June 2001, at the Stadio Olimpico, Roma beat Parma 3-1, with their three superstar attackers, Totti, Vincenzo Montella and Gabriel Batistuta, scoring one goal each, as Roma were crowned champions of Italy. On 19 August 2001 Totti won his first Supercoppa Italiana, scoring in the 3-0 win against Fiorentina.

Totti was named the Italian Footballer of the Year for 2000 and 2001. He received his first Ballon d'Or nomination in 2000, finishing fourteenth in the voting and fifth the following year.[15] Due to his performances, Totti had become a widely recognized idol of the supporters, who were able to identify with his background as a lifelong Roma supporter and Rome native.

In the following seasons, Totti played as second striker as part of a 3–5–2 formation and scored his first hat-trick in Serie A, which served to beat Brescia 3-2. Also, Totti put his mark on Roma's decisive victory at the Bernabéu against Real Madrid (0-1), on 30 October 2002; this was the first time in 35 years that an Italian team had won a match in Madrid.[16] He repeated himself against Valencia, scoring two goals in Roma's 3-0 win.[17] Despite this, Roma ended in 3rd place in their group of Champions League and in eighth position in Serie A, although they managed to reach the 2003 Coppa Italia Final. In the Coppa Italia final against AC Milan, Totti scored three times from free kicks (one goal at home and two at the San Siro), but Roma lost 1-4 at home and drew 2-2 at San Siro, losing out to Milan 6-3 on aggregate.

In the 2003-04 season, Totti played a key role in helping Roma to finish runners-up to AC Milan in the Scudetto race. Throughout the league season he realized 20 goals, his personal best record in Serie A until then (he later surpassed this tally during the 2006-07 season), which allowed him to win his 2nd Guerin d'Oro, as the player with the best average rating in Serie A throughout the season. Moreover, the Roma captain notably performed his trademark "cucchiaio" chipped goal on several occasions throughout the season.

Despite a disappointing 2004–05 season that saw Capello leave for Juventus and Roma slip to eighth place while making four coaching changes during the course of the season, including Cesare Prandelli, Rudi Völler, Luigi Delneri and Bruno Conti, Totti maintained his consistent offensive output by scoring fifteen goals, among them his 100th Serie A goal against Internazionale, on 3 October 2004, with a beautiful free kick from 30 metres. Two months later, on 19 December, he became Roma's all-time leading scorer after netting his 107th career goal against Parma, breaking the record previously held by Roberto Pruzzo.

As a striker with Spalletti[edit]

Roma's new coach for the 2005–06 season, Luciano Spalletti, went with a 4–2–3–1 formation, deploying Totti in a newer, more offensive role. Despite his new attacking role, Totti would not remain forward waiting for crosses or passes from team-mates, but would rather drop deep to pick up the ball, thus creating space for the attacking midfielders and wingers to making offensive runs, to whom Totti was able to provide assists; this role would later be described as a "false-9". In this new position, Totti began to score more frequently than in previous season, and he scored 15 goals in 24 matches. At one point during this streak, the team won 11 consecutive games. In the spring of 2005 he renewed his contract until 2010 with an annual salary of €5.4 million. In January 2006, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Pelé spent words of praise for Totti, defining him "the best player in the world".[18] On 19 February 2006, he suffered a fracture of his left fibula and ligament damage during a match against Empoli after being fouled by Richard Vanigli.[19] Totti risked missing the 2006 World Cup, but returned to the side on 11 May as a substitute in Roma's 3–1 Coppa Italia Final defeat to Internazionale. A metal plate had been attached to his ankle during surgery, but doctors decided not to operate again and remove it following Totti's return, after concurring that it would not affect his gameplay.[20] He was given off-label treatments of teriparatide to speed-up his fracture recovery.[21]

Totti lifts the 2007–08 Coppa Italia trophy presented to him by Italy president Giorgio Napolitano (right)

The 2006–07 season was a personal high for Totti; he scored 26 goals in Serie A, as well as another 6 goals in the Champions League (in this competition he scored three times in the group stage and one time in the round-of-16 against Lione) and the Coppa Italia. Despite their elimination from the Champions League by Manchester United in the quarter-finals, Roma won the Coppa Italia against Inter, with a 6-2 victory at home (Totti scored the opening goal after fifty seconds) and a 2-1 defeat at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan; Totti won therefore able to lift his first Coppa Italia as captain. In the first half of the season, on 26 October 2006, against Sampdoria, Totti produced a notable goal with a left-volley shot from a very tight angle; this goal was voted the best goal of the season, and it was included in the top ten goals from incredible angles drafted by The Sun.[22] On 27 May 2007, Totti became the Serie A top scorer with 26 goals, and the following 17 June, he also was the recipient of the ESM European Golden Shoe award as the top European goalscorer of the season. Despite being the highest active goalscorer in Serie A, he was not among the finalists for the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year[23] due to his national team absence, although he was nominated for the 2007 Ballon d'Or, finishing tenth in the voting.

Totti scored his 200th goal with Roma in a 4–0 victory against Torino in Coppa Italia, on 16 January 2008. He was named the Italian Footballer of the Year for the fifth time in his career on 28 January. The following month, on 24 February he reached 386 appearances in Serie A with the Yellow-reds in the match against Fiorentina, equaling the record previously held by Giacomo Losi, the former Roma captain of the sixties. He managed to surpass the record, on 27 February, in the following match against Inter: Francesco Totti so became the player with most appearances in Serie A in the history of Roma. On 9 March, in Napoli-Roma (0-2), he collected his 500th overall appearance in a Roma short, scoring Roma's second goal from a penalty kick.[24] He suffered a season-ending injury to his right knee during a 1–1 draw with Livorno on 19 April. Tests revealed a tear of his ACL that required surgery, ruling him out for four months.[25] Roma won their ninth Coppa Italia with a 2–1 victory over Internazionale on 24 May; although Totti did not play the match, he was still allowed to lift the cup as the team's captain. With this win, Totti became the most successful captain in the team's history, with five titles and ten runners-up medals.

Totti playing against Fiorentina in 2009 during Spalletti's final year

In the 2008-2009 season Totti recovered readily from the previous injury, thus becoming a protagonist in the derby (assisting Júlio Baptista's winning goal), in the game against Lecce (providing assists for Vučinić and scoring a lobbed gol that closed the match)[26] and in Roma's home fixture against Fiorentina (with a shot from the edge of the area). In the Champions League, he scored against Cluj (on a free kick) and the second goal in a 2-0 win against Bordeaux. On 8 November 2008, in Bologna-Roma (1-1), he made his 400th appearance in Serie A, scoring the goal of the momentary advantage. On 19 April 2009, in Roma-Lecce (3-2), he scored his 175th Serie A goal, surpassing Amedeo Amadei and becoming the Roma's highest scorer of all time. In addition, with this goal, Totti became one of the top-ten goalscorers in Serie A history.[27]

Ranieri era[edit]

Roma's difficult start to the 2008–09 season and continued struggles at the start of the 2009–10 season saw Spalletti resign after his four-year reign and be replaced by Claudio Ranieri. Totti performed well in the inaugural UEFA Europa League; he scored three hat-tricks, first in a 7–1 away win against Gent in the third qualifying round and then another with the same score against Košice at the Olimpico in the play-off round. He also scored 3 goals against Bari, after seven years from his last hat-trick in the Serie A (against Brescia during the 2002-03 season), upon his return from a month-long injury.

On 30 November 2009, Totti confirmed he had signed a new five-year playing contract which would see him with the club until 2014, after which he stated he would become a club director for a further five years.[28] The deal was made official by the Board of Directors on 16 December 2009.[29] Roma offered a gross annual salary of €8.9M for 2009–10 and €8.6M in the next 4 seasons.[30] He was the highest earning player of Roma in recent seasons until he was surpassed by Daniele De Rossi in 2012.

With a 24-match unbeaten run in Serie A, Roma became the only challengers to Inter in the last three rounds for the league title that season, ultimately finishing runners-up after the final fixture. Despite Totti's several injury problems, he surpassed legends such as Gabriel Batistuta, Giuseppe Signori, and Kurt Hamrin in the all-time league scoring records. Totti also played in the Coppa Italia Final against Inter on 5 May 2010 but received a red card in the closing minutes of the second half for kicking Mario Balotelli. Roma lost 0–1, failing to bring home their 10th Coppa Italia.

In the 2010–11 season, Roma continued their 'traditional' early struggles, partly blamed on Ranieri's failure to develop a consistent set of tactics, changing both formations and lineups after every week. Though on a personal level, Totti won the Golden Foot award, Ranieri's lack of faith in Totti meant that the captain would face more time on the substitute's bench in favour of forwards Marco Borriello, Mirko Vučinić and Jérémy Menez. This limited playing time (including a 91st minute substitution against Sampdoria[31]) resulted in only three league goals in 21 appearances. Following Roma's loss against Genoa on 20 February 2011, Ranieri resigned as manager of Roma and Totti saw his former teammate Vincenzo Montella appointed as caretaker coach.

Montella's reign[edit]

Totti in 2011

Montella reverted to Spalletti's 4–2–3–1 system and Totti appeared to find his best performance again. On 3 March, Totti was voted the best active Italian player in a poll conducted by La Gazzetta dello Sport; 100 Italian personalities, including footballers, politicians, and showmen, took part in the vote. On 13 March 2011, he scored two goals against Lazio allowing the Yellow-reds to earn their fifth consecutive victory in the Rome Derby. On this occasion, he was awarded the nickname "The King of Rome is not dead", coined at the time of the second goal from the comments of the Northern Irish commentator Richard Whittle, Al Jazeera's correspondent.[32] The following 20 March, Totti became the sixth player in Serie A history to score 200 goals, finding the target twice in that 2–2 draw with to raise his total to 201. On 1 May, Totti scored a brace against Bari to equal and overtake Roberto Baggio in the total number of goals scored in the league with his 205th and 206th goals,[33] thus becoming the fifth all-time Serie A goalscorer behind only Silvio Piola, Gunnar Nordahl, Giuseppe Meazza and José Altafini. Totti completed a remarkable turn-around that season, completing the 2010–11 Serie A campaign with 15 goals – scoring 12 goals in Roma's last thirteen league fixtures.

At the end of the season, Roma underwent a revolution, with the former club's owner Rosella Sensi being replaced by the American consortium led by Thomas DiBenedetto.[34] Under the new management, the club did not offer a permanent contract to Montella, which led him to coach another Serie A side Catania;[35] the Roma management appointed Luis Enrique, a Barcelona B tactician, to build Barcelona's exciting Spanish-based football style for Roma's long term project.[36]

Back to a playmaker with Enrique[edit]

The 2011–12 season began with Totti getting few starts under Luis Enrique in a year that got off to a rocky start for Roma.[37] He sustained an injury on 1 October 2011 in the second half against Atalanta which kept him out of action until being subbed in at the 66th minute on 20 November against Lecce, which Roma won 2–1. During this absence, his presence was sorely missed on the pitch as the giallorossi's predominantly new and young team suffered highs and lows in their performances as they grew accustomed to each other.

In mid-December, as Totti began regaining form post-injury, his presence became more regular in Enrique's formations, often playing attacking midfielder. On 12 December an otherwise strong performance on pitch against Juventus, inclusive of an assist to Daniele De Rossi's opening goal, was marred by missing a second half penalty. Totti offered up several more assists, notably for Pablo Osvaldo's goal in Roma's 3–1 win over Napoli at the San Paolo, and De Rossi's goal against Catania at the Massimino. In his deeper position on the pitch, the Roma tailsman did not seek out to score goals as often, opting rather to play more of a supporting role by bridging the attack and midfield, using his presence and experience in games to offer some much needed depth to the team.

On 8 January 2012, Totti scored his first goal of the season against Chievo, converting first one penalty in the first half and then another in the second, in a game which ended 2–0 for Roma. He went on to score two goals in a 5–1 win against Cesena which allowed Totti to set a new record as his second goal of the match brought his tally to 211 league goals – the most any player has ever scored for a single club in Serie A.[38] As the second round of the season began, Totti's goals remained at four, but his performances continued to convince, and in Roma's 4–0 win over Inter on 5 February, Totti's corner turned into an assist for Juan as he headed in the opening goal in Roma's dominating performance. As of that game, Totti's seasonal statistics consisted of 8 goals and 7 assists in 25 appearances. Totti scored his fifth goal of the season in a 3–1 victory over Udinese. He scored again in a 2–1 loss against Fiorentina, and two weeks later, on his 500th match in Serie A, he scored two goals in a 2–2 draw against Catania at the Stadio Olimpico.

Zeman's second spell[edit]

Totti in action during a 2012 friendly match against Liverpool in Boston, Massachusetts

After Luis Enrique decided to resign due to an unsuccessful season, in which Roma failed to qualify for European football for the first time in 15 years; the club decided to appoint their former manager Zdeněk Zeman with whom Totti would once again be reunited. Zeman tried to play Totti in a free-role, but as a left forward or winger in his preferred 4-3-3 tactical line-up;[39] although this was a similar role to that which he had played during his previous spell under Zeman 13 years before, Totti's freedom also enabled him to drop deep into the midfield to press opponents and pick up the ball, as well as attacking on the left wing.[40] On 2 September, Totti provided 2 assists for Alessandro Florenzi and Pablo Osvaldo in Roma's 3–1 win over Inter at the San Siro. After the match, he received high praise from the media due to his performance, even at the advanced age of nearly 36 years old.[41] Two weeks later, he scored his 216th Serie A goal in the home game against Sampdoria, making him the joint third all-time highest goalscorer in Serie A. On 21 October, Totti surpassed both Giuseppe Meazza and José Altafini's joint-record after scoring the first of Roma's goals in a 2–4 away win at Genoa, becoming the third highest goal-scorer in Serie A history. He scored his third goal of the season against Parma in a 3–2 loss. On 4 November, Totti scored Roma's first goal in a 4–1 home victory against Palermo, his fourth of the season. On 8 December, Totti scored 2 goals, his 5th and 6th of the season, in a 4–2 home victory against Fiorentina.[42]

On 20 January 2013, Totti scored his seventh goal of the season against Inter from the penalty spot. On 1 February, he scored his eighth goal of the season in a 2–4 defeat to Cagliari and his ninth goal fifteen days later, the only goal in the match at home against Juventus.[43] On 3 March, he scored his 225th goal against Genoa to become Serie A's joint second top scorer along with Gunnar Nordahl, as Roma cruised to a 3–1 victory.[44] Totti finally broke Nordahl's record by scoring another goal against Parma on 18 March, thus increasing his tally to 226 goals; this goal was also his 20th goal from free-kicks in Serie A, making him the fifth highest goalscorer in Serie A history, alongside Gianfranco Zola.[45] On April 8, with a goal on a penalty kick in the 1-1 draw against Lazio, he became the top scorer of all time in Serie A in the Rome derby with 9 goals, on par with Dino Da Costa and Marco Delvecchio.[46] Totti finished the 2012-13 Serie A season with 12 goals and 12 assists in 34 appearances.[47]

Garcia's era[edit]

Totti in 2014

With the arrival of Roma's new coach Rudi Garcia, in the summer of 2013, Totti was positioned once again as a false-9 so as drop deep to collect the ball and create space for the wingers to exploit, also functioning as a free-role supporting forward, or as winger on the left on occasion. On 20 September 2013, Roma announced that Totti had signed a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2016, at which time he would be 39 years old.[48] He scored his first goal in the 2013–14 season against Parma in a 3–1 victory. He followed that with two strikes in Roma's 3–0 away victory at Inter, helping the team maintain its 100% record after seven games.[49] On 20 November he received the award "Captain of captains" by the association Editutto and Baker Tilly Revisa.[50] On 12 January 2014, Totti returned to the goal at the Stadio Olimpico in a 4-0 victory against Genoa.[51] He scored again, on 26 January, in the 3-1 win against Verona. On 14 February, captain of Roma is forced to a stop again about a month for a bruised right buttock. On 17 March, date of his return against Udinese, Totti scored the first goal of the match and he dragged the team to the final 3-2.[52] Eight days later, at Roma-Torino, Totti celebrated 700 appearances overall with Roma. On 2 April, in the recovery of the match suspended in February, he marked his 20th goal in career against Parma (a personal record) in a 4-2 victory.[53] He finished the season with 8 goals (the last one scored in a 4-1 defeat against Catania) and 10 assists, that allowed him to win the award of the top assist-man of the 2013-14 Serie A season.[54]

On 30 September 2014, three days after his 38th birthday, Totti scored Roma's equaliser in a Champions League group stage draw at Manchester City, thus becoming the oldest scorer in the history of the competition;[55] this was also Totti's 300th professional career goal.[56] On 5 October 2014, Totti scored his 66th penalty in Serie A in a 3-2 away defeat to rivals Juventus; the penalty goal brought him only two goals away from the Serie A record holder for goals from penalties, Roberto Baggio, with 68.[57] On the 11th January 2015, Totti scored 2 goals against local rivals Lazio, making him the joint all-time top scorer in the Rome Derby in official club competitions, alongside Dino Da Costa, with 11 goals, also becoming the Serie A top scorer in the Rome Derby.[58][59]

International career[edit]

Totti performs his chipped penalty in Euro 2000 semi-final against the Netherlands

Totti first came into international prominence while playing in UEFA youth tournaments. Totti scored in Italy’s 4–1 defeat to Spain in the final of the UEFA Under-18 Championship in July 1995.[60] He subsequently won the UEFA Under-21 Championship with Italy in 1996; in the final, he opened the scoring as the match ended in a 1–1 draw against the Spanish, although Italy were able to win the final on penalties.[61] In the same year, he also played a key role in helping Italy to win a gold medal at the 1996 Mediterranean Games, on home soil.[62][63]

After starring with the Azzurrini in Italy's Under-19 and Under-21 sides, Totti earned his first senior cap for Italy under the recently appointed international manager Dino Zoff, during a 2-0 Euro 2000 qualifying victory against Switzerland, on 10 October 1998.[64] Totti scored his first goal for Italy on 26 April 2000, in a 2-0 friendly win over Portugal, in Reggio Calabria.[65] He scored his first brace for Italy in a 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match, in 4-3 home win over Belarus, on 13 October 2004.[66] In total, Totti has made 58 appearances for Italy between 1998 and 2006, scoring 9 goals.[67]

Euro 2000[edit]

Italy went to Euro 2000 with Totti in excellent form; overall, he scored 2 goals and provided an assist during the tournament.[68] His first goal of the tournament came against co-host nation Belgium in the first round, as Totti headed in Albertini's cross from a set-piece.[69] His second goal of the tournament came against Romania in the quarter-finals, with an accurate strike following Fiore's assist.[70] In Italy's semi-final shootout victory over co-hosts the Netherlands, Totti's confidently chipped penalty was named as one of the "magic moments" of the tournament.[71][72] Though Italy lost to defending World Cup Champions France 2-1 in extra time in the final, Totti was named the man of the match, and he started the play which led to Delvecchio's opening goal; Totti sent an unmarked Pessotto down the right wing with a back-heel pass, allowing him space to cross the ball into the area, where it was put into the net by Delvecchio.[73][74] Later during the second half of the match, Totti provided two scoring opportunities for Alessandro Del Piero, which the Juventus forward was unable to convert.[75] Totti was selected for the 22-man Team of the Tournament due to his performances throughout the European Championship.[76]

2002 World Cup[edit]

After being handed the number 10 shirt and Italy's playmaking duties, much was expected of Totti in his début World Cup under manager Giovanni Trapattoni.[77] Despite a promising start at the 2002 World Cup, as he set-up Vieri's first goal in Italy's 2-0 opening win over Ecuador,[78] disappointment followed however, with Totti failing to score or make a significant impact throughout the tournament. Despite helping to set up Vieri's goal in a disappointing and controversial 2-1 defeat to Croatia in Italy's second group match,[79] also hitting the post from a free-kick, his lacklustre performances throughout the tournament were later criticised by the Italian media, in particular as he missed several scoring opportunities in Italy's 1-1 draw against Mexico in their final group match, as Italy narrowly qualified for the knockout stage.[80][81] Despite setting up Veri's goal in Italy's second round defeat to co-hosts South Korea from a corner,[82] his performance was once again criticised,[83] in particular as during extra-time, he was sent off after being handed a controversial second yellow card by referee Byron Moreno for an alleged dive in the penalty area.[84]

Euro 2004[edit]

Totti acquired a measure of infamy at Euro 2004 after he spat at Danish midfielder Christian Poulsen in a goalless draw on 14 June 2004. He was subsequently banned until the semifinals,[85] but never made it back to action and finished the competition scoreless due to Italy's elimination in the first round on direct encounters, following a three-way five point tie with Sweden and Denmark.[86]

2006 World Cup[edit]

Totti, the president Giorgio Napolitano and the team celebrate the victory in the 2006 World Cup

Totti recovered in time to join the national team for their victorious 2006 World Cup campaign despite not having had much match practice during his three months on the sidelines recovering from injury. Italy manager Marcello Lippi showed enormous faith in Totti, assuring him during his rehabilitation that his spot in the Azzurri World Cup team was secure and to focus on recuperating. This encouragement and show of faith fueled Totti's desire to work even harder to overcome what could have been a career-ending injury and make it to the World Cup against all odds (and much of the Italian media's opinion).[87] Totti did recuperate in time and in fact played the entire time in Germany with metal plates in his ankle that had yet to be removed following the surgery. Nonetheless, he was a fixture in Marcello Lippi's side, playing in all of Italy's seven games, including the final against France.

During the tournament Totti played along with Andrea Pirlo behind strikers Luca Toni, Alberto Gilardino, or Vincenzo Iaquinta, forming a dangerous attacking-midfield pairing, while the offensive players were supported defensively by Gattuso, Perrotta, and De Rossi. Totti, along with his team mate Andrea Pirlo, as well as Riquelme, Schweinsteiger, and Figo, finished the tournament with the most assists.[88][89] Throughout the World Cup, Totti set up Pirlo's goal in Italy's opening match against Ghana,[90] Materazzi's goal in Italy's final group match against the Czech Republic,[91] and two goals by Zambrotta and Toni against Ukraine in the quarter-finals;[92] he was also involved in the build-up which led to Del Piero's goal against hosts Germany in the semi-finals.[93] Totti also scored a goal via an injury time penalty in Italy's 1–0 round-of-16 win over Australia on 26 June.[94] In recognition of a successful tournament, Totti was selected for the 23-man All-Star Team.[95]


Totti intended to retire from the Azzurri after the end of the World Cup, but reneged on his decision and remained undecided on his future for over a year, not being called up in the meantime. He made his retirement official on 20 July 2007, at the beginning of the 2007–08 Serie A season, due to recurring physical problems,[96] and in order to focus solely on club play with Roma.[97] Then-Italy coach, Roberto Donadoni attempted to get Totti to change his mind for the remaining Euro 2008 qualifiers but was not successful.[98]

After the national team reunited with Marcello Lippi, Totti announced that he would play in the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa if he got called up.[99] However, there was no official statement release from Totti or Lippi about a possible comeback.[100] In the event, Totti was not named in the final squad, and Italy was subsequently eliminated, finishing last in their group, their worst ever group stage result in World Cup history. Diego Maradona and former national teammates Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon said one of the reasons for Italy's early exit is that the Azzurri lack creative players like Totti.[101]

In March 2013, the former Italy coach, Cesare Prandelli stated that he would consider Totti's comeback for 2014 World Cup.[102][103] In October 2013, Prandelli said: "Totti is in fantastic form. His condition right now does make you reflect. If the World Cup was around the corner, I would have no doubts and would absolutely call him up. But we will evaluate the player's condition one month prior to the World Cup."[104] However, at the time of the choice of the final 23-man Italian squad for the World Cup, the Italy coach excluded the Roma striker, preferring to focus the team around younger players,[105] receiving numerous criticisms by the entire Italian football movement. Among these, also former Brazilian international footballer Cafu, who also played for Roma and Milan, who revealed that he would have liked to see Totti competing for Italy at the World Cup in Brazil, and that he preferred the Roma captain over Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.[106] Without Totti, Italy was eliminated in the first round for the second consecutive time after South Africa 2010, finishing third in their group.[107][108]

Style of play[edit]

Totti is an artist of football, a true Number 10, just like I was.

Michel Platini, former French midfielder and current UEFA President.[109]

Throughout his long career at his hometown club, Roma, Totti has predominantly played as an offensive-midfield playmaker, or as a supporting or deep-lying forward, behind the main striker; only in the later years of his Roma career was he mainly employed in the role of a main striker. Wearing the number 10 jersey, Totti is capable of playing anywhere along the front-line, and has also been deployed as a winger under Zeman, and most notably as a false-9 under Spalletti and Garcia.[110] While being an accurate finisher and the sixth highest goal scoring Italian in club competition, he is also renowned for his creativity and ability to provide assists for his teammates: his role has at times been described as that of a hardworking, generous, quick and dynamic centre forward.[9] During his two-year period with Zdeněk Zeman, in the 1997-98 season, Totti underwent an athletic development; undergoing a muscle strengthening program to adapt to the rhythms of 21st century football, gaining physical strength, stamina, fitness, and shooting power, to the detriment of some of his speed and agility.[111]

His principal characteristics are his creativity, vision, acceleration, ball control, dribbling, precise passing, and powerful and accurate shooting ability, from inside and outside the area, with either foot. Totti is also an accurate penalty kick and free kick taker;[7] he is also able to consistently provide 'killer balls' to strikers, occasionally through his trademark use of the backheel. Totti has also performed the cucchiaio chip, which roughly translates to "spoon" in English, and has often used this gesture on penalties.[112] His most famous lobbed goal is widely regarded as the goal he scored against Inter, where he dribbled past Materazzi before chipping the ball over Julio Cesar, which was named the best goal in Serie A in the 2005-06 season. Another goal using this technique, was scored against Lazio in the Derby della Capitale, which ended 5-1 in favour of Roma. Because of his penchant for scoring goals using this particular gesture, the title of his 2006 autobiography Tutto Totti: Mo je faccio er cucchiaio (English: All about Totti: I'm gonna chip him now) references this technique, as well the statement made to his Italy team mates before his memorable Euro 2000 semifinal shootout penalty against the Netherlands.[113]

Goal celebrations[edit]

Totti (right) celebrates scoring at UEFA Euro 2000 alongside Italy teammate Alessandro Del Piero

Totti is known for his exuberant and humorous goal celebration. His most famous celebration took place on 11 April 1999 in the second Derby della Capitale of the 1998–99 season, in which he scored during the final minutes of the game and celebrated by flashing a T-shirt under his jersey, which read "Vi ho purgato ancora" ("I've purged you guys again"), in reference to events at the previous derby against Lazio on 29 November 1998 when Totti helped Roma come back from 3–1 down with an assist to Eusebio Di Francesco for 3–2 and finally a goal of his own for 3–3. Another derby goal against Lazio saw him take over a sideline camera and aim it at the Roma fans.

Totti's displayed numerous message T-shirts under his jersey over the years, including two for his wife "6 Unica" ("You're the One") and "6 Sempre Unica" ("You're Still the One") and a political one "Liberate Giuliana" ("Free Giuliana") in honor of Giuliana Sgrena, an Italian journalist kidnapped in 2005 by insurgents in Iraq (later freed). The most recent shirt's message was "Scusate il Ritardo" ("Sorry for the delay") which he flashed on 8 January 2012 in an apology to fans for his goal-scoring drought after scoring his first goal of the season versus Chievo.

As a tribute to his then-pregnant wife, Ilary Blasi, Totti imitated a childbirth scene by stuffing the ball under his shirt and lying on his back while his teammates extracted the ball. His current ritual of sucking his thumb after a goal began after his son was born and subsequently after the birth of his daughter. Blasi has revealed that Totti sucks his thumb also dedicating his celebration to her, and not only for their children.[114][115] On 11 January 2015, after his 239th goal in Serie A, Totti came up with another historic goal celebration. Italian forward scored two goals against Lazio in the Derby della Capitale when Roma came back from 2-0 and after his second goal he took a selfie with Roma fans.[116]

Personal life[edit]

Ilary Blasi, wife of Totti, in 2009

Totti's wife Ilary Blasi is a former showgirl who has been a co-host of Italia 1's hit show Le Iene since 2007. When the couple married on 19 June 2005 at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, their wedding was aired on television with proceeds being donated to charity. They had their first child, Cristian, on 6 November 2005. Their second child, a daughter named Chanel, was born on 13 May 2007. The couple has often been referred to as the "Italian Beckhams" and their private lives are often speculated upon in Italian magazines and tabloids.

Totti's brother Riccardo serves as his agent and manages many of his brand and business interests, under the name "Number Ten", including the Francesco Totti Academy, a football training school, and the Totti Soccer School, which is a soccer camp for children with disabilities. Totti also owns a motorcycle racing team called Totti Top Sport.

Totti became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF in 2003,[117][118] and the FIFA/SOS Children's Villages in January 2006. As a fundraiser for a children's charity, he published two best selling, self-effacing joke books containing jokes the locals often told about him and his teammates. Some of the jokes were filmed in short sketches featuring himself with good friends and national teammates Alessandro Del Piero, Gianluigi Buffon, Christian Vieri, Antonio Cassano, Marco Delvecchio and Alessandro Nesta and former national team coach Giovanni Trapattoni in a short show called La sai l'ultima di Totti. On the 16th of January 2008 he appeared as “PaperTotti” in a famous Comic book. The proceeds of the subscriptions were given as a gift for charity. The Roma captain was the official testimonial of “Partita del Cuore”, charity match between singers and vips played on the 12th of May 2008 to promote a fund raising for the construction of the “Campus Produttivo della Legalità e della Solidarietà” (Productive Campus of Legality and Solidarity).[119]

Totti also collects jerseys from teams around the world. In 2003, after a Six Nations rugby match between Italy and Ireland, Irish players Brian O'Driscoll and Denis Hickie each received a Totti jersey in exchange for their own shirts.

Television, cinema and publicity[edit]

Totti risk everything mural commissioned by Nike

In 2002, Fiat principal executive Gianni Agnelli, a lifelong fan and the ex-president of Juventus, chose Totti to publicize the launch of the new Stilo instead of a Juventus player.[120] Having been signed to sportswear company Nike, Totti featured in Nike's "Secret Tournament" advertisement, directed by Terry Gilliam, in the build up to the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan.[121] He appeared alongside football players including Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Luís Figo, Roberto Carlos and Japanese star Hidetoshi Nakata, with former player Eric Cantona the tournament "referee".[121][122]

Totti has featured in EA Sports' FIFA video game series; he was on the cover for the Italian edition of FIFA 2002.[123] He also featured on the cover of Pro Evolution Soccer 4 along with Thierry Henry and Italian referee Pierluigi Collina.[124] Between 2005 and 2008 his sponsors changed to sportswear company Diadora and soft drink Pepsi Twist, with a commercial filmed in the camps of Trigoria by director Gabriele Muccino. Since May 2006, he has appeared in advertisements for the telephone company Vodafone. In December 2006 Totti and his wife Ilary Blasi, lent their voices to an Italian dubbing of an episode of the television series The Simpsons entitled Marge and Homer Turn a Couple Play, in which Totti voiced Buck Mitchell.[125]

Mural depicting Totti

In 2007 he appeared in the movie L'allenatore nel Pallone 2 in the role of a defense attorney. Since 2008 he has participated many times in the television program C'è posta per te, in the second series of the Italian fiction Cesaroni, in the reality show Grande Fratello 8 and an episode of Paperissima. In September 2008 a collection of figurines dedicated to him came out at newsstands in the Lazio region entitled "Francesco Totti, the captain".[126] In 2009, Totti sent a message of greeting to the Iranian youth during the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests.[127][128] In February 2010, Totti was named ambassador for online poker company Party Poker.[129] In May 2010, he presented in Rome, with the actor Russell Crowe, the special edition of the film Gladiator, produced by Universal Pictures in honor of the football team AS Roma to celebrate the tenth year of the film's release. Since December 2013, after almost 10 years, he was again sponsored by Nike for a duration of two years.[130] Two murals of Totti, sponsored by Nike, were created in Rome.[131][132]

Career statistics[edit]

Correct as of 16 March 2015.

Club career[edit]

Team Season Serie A Coppa Italia Europe1 Other
Apps Goals Assts Apps Goals Assts Apps Goals Assts Apps Goals Assts Apps Goals Assts
Roma 1992–93 2 0 0 - - - - - - - - - 2 0 0
1993–94 8 0 0 2 0 0 - - - - - - 10 0 0
1994–95 21 4 4 4 3 1 - - - - - - 25 7 5
1995–96 28 2 4 1 0 0 7 2 2 - - - 36 4 6
1996–97 26 5 4 1 0 0 3 0 0 - - - 30 5 4
1997–98 30 13 7 6 1 1 - - - - - - 36 14 8
1998–99 31 12 14 3 1 0 8 3 4 - - - 42 16 18
1999–00 27 7 10 2 0 0 5 1 0 - - - 34 8 10
2000–01 30 13 3 2 1 1 3 2 0 - - - 35 16 4
2001–02 24 8 4 - - - 11 3 1 1 1 1 36 12 6
2002–03 24 14 4 5 3 3 6 3 2 - - - 35 20 9
2003–04 31 20 7 - - - 1 0 2 - - - 32 20 9
2004–05 29 12 9 7 3 2 4 1 1 - - - 40 16 12
2005–06 24 15 9 2 0 1 3 2 0 - - - 29 17 10
2006–07 35 26 9 5 2 3 9 4 2 1 0 1 50 32 15
2007–08 25 14 5 3 3 0 6 1 1 1 0 0 35 18 6
2008–09 24 13 4 - - - 7 2 1 1 0 0 32 15 5
2009–10 23 14 6 2 0 0 6 11 2 - - - 31 25 8
2010–11 32 15 10 - - - 7 2 1 1 0 1 40 17 12
2011–12 27 8 7 2 0 2 2 0 1 - - - 31 8 10
2012–13 34 12 12 3 0 0 - - - - - - 37 12 12
2013–14 26 8 10 3 0 1 - - - - - - 29 8 11
2014–15 21 5 5 2 0 0 7 2 1 - - - 30 7 6
Career total 582 240 147 55 17 15 95 39 21 5 1 3 737 297 186

1European competitions include the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League
2Other tournaments include the Supercoppa Italiana

Competition statistics[edit]

International career[edit]

National Team Year Friendlies Qualifiers Competition Total
Apps Goals Assts Apps Goals Assts Apps Goals Assts Apps Goals Assts
Italy 1998 2 0 1 1 0 0 - - - 3 0 1
1999 3 0 0 3 0 1 - - - 6 0 1
2000 4 1 0 3 1 3 5 2 0 12 4 3
2001 2 0 0 4 1 2 - - - 6 1 2
2002 2 0 0 - - - 4 0 2 6 0 2
2003 2 0 2 3 1 5 - - - 5 1 7
2004 3 0 3 2 2 0 1 0 0 6 2 3
2005 1 0 0 4 0 1 - - - 5 0 1
2006 2 0 0 - - - 7 1 4 9 1 4
Total 21 1 6 20 5 12 17 3 7 58 9 24

International goals[edit]


Totti's footprint on The Champions Promenade in Monaco.






Ballon d'Or
FIFA World Player of the Year
World Soccer Award
  • 2000 – 7th
  • 2001 – 4th
  • 2007 – 7th


  • Serie A Active Leading Goalscorer: 240 goals
  • Serie A Active Appearance Maker: 582 games
  • Roma All-Time Leading Goalscorer: 297 goals
  • Roma All-Time Leading Goalscorer in Serie A: 240 goals
  • Roma All-Time Leading Goalscorer in UEFA Champions League: 18 goals
  • Roma All-Time Leading Goalscorer in UEFA Europa League: 21 goals
  • Roma All-Time Leading Goalscorer in UEFA Competitions: 39 goals
  • Roma All-Time Appearance Maker: 737 games
  • Roma All-Time Appearance Maker in Serie A: 582 games
  • Roma All-Time Appearance Maker in UEFA Champions League: 55 games
  • Roma All-Time Appearance Maker in UEFA Europa League: 40 games
  • Roma All-Time Appearance Maker in UEFA competitions: 95 games
  • UEFA Champions League oldest goalscorer: aged 38 years 59 days as of 25 November 2014 [137]
  • Rome Derby All-Time Leading Goalscorer in Serie A: 11 goals


  • Tutte le barzellette su Totti. (Raccolte da me), Milano, Mondadori, 2003. ISBN 88-04-52337-9 (All the jokes about Totti. Collected by me)
  • Le nuove barzellette su Totti. (Raccolte ancora da me), Milano, Mondadori, 2004. ISBN 88-04-52482-0 (The new jokes about Totti. Collected by me again)
  • «Mo je faccio er cucchiaio». Il mio calcio, Milano, Mondadori, 2006. ISBN 88-04-55733-8 (I'm gonna chip him now. My football)
  • Tutto Totti, Milano, Mondadori, 2006. ISBN 9788804567530 (All about Totti)
  • La mia vita, i miei gol (book + DVD), Milano, Mondadori, 2007. ISBN 88-04-57241-8 (My life, my goals)
  • Quando i bambini fanno "ahó" (book + DVD), Milano, Mondadori, 2009. ISBN 88-04-59004-1 (When the children shout "Ahó")
  • E mo' te spiego Roma. La mia guida all'antica Roma, Milano, Mondadori, 2012. ISBN 8804624019 (And Now I Explain Rome to You. My Guide to Ancient Rome)
  • Roma 10. In giro per Roma col Capitano, Milano, Mondadori, 2014. ISBN 978-88-04-64042-4 (Roma 10. Around Rome with the Captain)


Cavaliere OMRI BAR.svg
5th Class / Knight: Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 2000[138]
Friedrich Order.png
Collar of Merit Sports: Collare d'Oro al Merito Sportivo: 2006[139]
ITA OMRI 2001 Uff BAR.svg
4th Class / Official: Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 2006[2]

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  102. ^ "Mondiale, Prandelli: "Cassano e Totti? Porte aperte in Nazionale"". La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  103. ^ "Prandelli: «Oggi porterei Totti ai Mondiali»". La Gazzetta di Reggio. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
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  112. ^ In Italian football jargon, fare il cucchiaio (English: do the "spoon", take a "spoon" shot) is a colloquial expression used when taking a chip shot or a Panenka penalty, which Totti performed in the penalty shoot-out of Italy's Euro 2000 semi-final match against the Netherlands.
  113. ^ Mo je faccio er cucchiaio (Italian: adesso gli faccio il cucchiaio) is actually Romanesco, the Roman-Italian dialect Totti regularly speaks.
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  136. ^ "Il premio Facchetti assegnato a Totti". Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  137. ^
  138. ^ "Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana" (in Italian). Presidenza della Repubblica. 12 July 2000. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
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  • Fernando Acitelli, Francesco Totti. Il tribuno di Porta Latina, Arezzo, Limina, 2002. ISBN 88-86713-79-7 (Francesco Totti. The tribune of Porta Latina)
  • Mario Sconcerti, La differenza di Totti, Arezzo, Limina, 2004. ISBN 88-88551-45-X (The difference of Totti)
  • Francesco Bovaio, con Cristiano Ditta, Francesco Totti. Semplicemente numero dieci, Milano, Giunti Editore, 2006. ISBN 88-09-04780-X (Francesco Totti. Simply number ten)
  • Massimo Cecchini, Francesco Totti. Vita, parole e imprese dell'ultimo gladiatore, Roma, Aliberti, 2009. ISBN 88-74244-93-2 (Totti. Life, words and feats of the last gladiator)
  • Tonino Cagnucci, Francesco Totti. dai politici al cuore, Roma, Limina, 2010. ISBN 88-60410-56-8 (Francesco Totti. From politicians to heart)
  • Gianluca Tino, L'invasione degli UltraTotti, Roma, Eraclea, 2010. ISBN 88-88771-22-0 (The invasion of UltraTotti)
  • Francesca Spaziani Testa, Francesco Totti minuto per minuto, Firenze-San Casciano V.P, Castelvecchi, 2012. ISBN 88-76156-85-2 (Francesco Totti minute by minute)
  • Francesco Costantini, Totteide. (Poema epico), Roma, Imprimatur, 2013. ISBN 88-68300-34-6 (Totteide. Epic poem)

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Abel Balbo
Roma captain