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The ‘King of Rome’: Admiring the career of Francesco Totti as he prepares to retire

Martyn Cooke



The Guardian are reporting that Roma have confirmed that Francesco Totti will bring an end to an illustrious 24 year playing career at the end of the season.

The club’s new sporting director Monchi informed the Italian media in mid-week that this would be Totti’s final campaign as a player, with the 40-year-old set to make his last appearance for the Giallorossi against Genoa on Sunday 28th May.

However, there has been a suggestion that the attacking midfielder will continue his affinity with the club and could be set to take up a position as a director whilst it also worth noting that the attacker has yet to confirm his retirement in person.

The King of Rome

Francesco Totti has cemented his position as a genuine club-legend at Roma with his ability, charisma and clear passion for the Giallorossi making him admired, loved and cherished by the supporters. He has been crowned as the ‘King of Rome’ and his retirement will signal an end to a playing career that started 24 years ago when he made his debut in 1993.

The 40-year-old has made over 600 appearances for Roma and has scored in excess of 250 goals whilst also captaining the club for over a decade – no other player has represented the club on more occasions whilst he is also the second highest goal scorer in Serie A history. He has won two league titles and two Coppa Italia’s in addition to also claiming a host of individual awards including the European Golden Boot and a dozen player of the season, top goal scorer and goal of the season accolades.

However, it is Totti’s dedication to Roma that has made him adored by the club’s supporters. Despite being subject to multiple approaches from rival clubs the talismanic figure has never demonstrated a desire to leave Rome and he is a rare example of a player choosing to spend his entire playing career with one team.

Totti has also achieved success at international level and scored nine goals in 58 appearances for the Italian national senior team after representing the country at all levels from the age of 15. He was part of the Italian team that won the 2006 World Cup in Germany and has been described as being one of Italy’s greatest players.

In short, the ‘King of Rome’ has earned his title as Roma’s greatest ever player.

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What next for Roma and Totti?             

Roma are set to enter a new era under the stewardship of the recently appointed sporting director Monchi, but they will have to face the future without the talismanic figure of Francesco Totti.

Monchi rose to prominence in Spain where the philosophy and transfer policy that he implemented at Sevilla turned the club into one of European football’s emerging powers.

His arrival at Roma will signal the start of an extensive rebuilding project both on and off the pitch as the Giallorossi attempted to win a major honour for the first time in almost a decade.

It comes as little surprise that Totti, at 40 years of age and having made just one start in Serie A this campaign, is set to retire from football just at the moment that the club is about to experience a dramatic overhaul.

Monchi and Roma’s general director Mauro Baldissoni have suggested that they would like Totti to continue his affiliation with the club and it is likely that the 40-year-old will accept a position as a director.

Speaking over the weekend, Baldissoni insisted that, “[Totti] will get to live many more derbies, only they’ll be off the pitch” whilst Monchi has insisted that he wants “to be as close to [Totti] as possible. I would love to learn even 1% of the huge amount that he knows [about the club]”.

The talismanic attacker will undoubtedly still have a significant role to play at Roma in the future, albeit behind the scenes rather than on the pitch.

When Totti hangs up his boots at the end of the month football will have the opportunity to admire and applaud a true legend of the modern game.

All hail the ‘King of Rome’.

Featured Image: All Rights Reserved Robin Jansson (Robin Jansson)

Martyn is currently a PTA and Research Assistant in the Department of Exercise Science at the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). In addition to his teaching role he is also undertaking a PhD in Sports History that is exploring the origins and development of football in Staffordshire. Prior to working at MMU, Martyn spent a decade operating in the sport and leisure industry in a variety of roles including as a Sports Development Officers, PE Teacher, Football Coach and Operation Manager.


Three talking points from Chelsea’s three-goal defeat to Roma

Jake Jackman




Chelsea fell to a disappointing defeat away to Roma on Tuesday night in the Champions League. There had been a lot of supporters hoping that the Blues would gain a positive result in Italy and move one step closer to qualification, but they failed to do that with a miserable display. They remain in a strong position in the group thanks to Atletico Madrid failing to beat Qarabag for the second time, but they will be disappointed with the result and performance on Tuesday. Here are three talking points from the match:

Antonio Rudiger was a disappointment

The summer signing has shown flashes of his ability during the last few weeks and was starting to establish himself as a first-team regular until this performance. The German international made an awful mistake for the second goal as he let a through ball pass him without any effort to clear it. This allowed Stephan El Shaarawy to pick up the ball unchallenged and score his second of the night. It is difficult to say what the defender was thinking and it will be an error that Antonio Conte won’t forget in a hurry.

Chelsea have a lot of options at centre-back and for that reason, Rudiger will be fearing for his place. Cesar Azpilicueta is arguably the team’s most reliable defender, but he was used at right wing-back today. Meanwhile, Andreas Christensen has a lot of potential and could be afforded another opportunity as a result of the German’s poor performance against Roma. The mistake came at an awful time for the Premier League side as it allowed the hosts to take a two-goal lead into half-time.

Stephan El Shaarawy reminded the world of his talent

The Italian had long been tipped for greatness since breaking through at AC Milan. However, he failed to kick on at the San Siro before a disappointing loan spell with Monaco saw him move back to Italy as he joined Roma. The attacker scored an excellent first goal from distance to give the side an early lead before adding to his tally with a smart finish before half-time. This match-winning display came just days after his winner against Bologna in Serie A.

At the age of 25, there is still time for the Italian international to develop into a great player in Serie A and in European competition. He will be full of confidence after his success during the last few days and seems ready to establish himself in the Roma team. Mo Salah was a big loss to the side during the summer, but they now have a player with enough quality to step up and replace him. The next step will be for the player to show consistency and truly emerge as one of the club’s most important players.

Chelsea miss N’Golo Kante

The midfielder has been a winner since arriving in England, having won back-to-back Premier League titles with Leicester City and Chelsea. It seemed too simplistic to attribute both triumphs to Kante being in the side, but the Foxes’ decline last season and the recent struggles at Stamford Bridge underline the quality of the French international. He has missed the entirety of October and the Blues don’t look the same side without him, as they are conceding too many clear-cut chances and failing to dominate matches.

It is extremely difficult to play with a two-man midfield and to succeed, it needs to have the right blend of individuals. Kante’s relentless energy and ball-winning ability makes him perfect for it, but Chelsea don’t have a like-for-like replacement for him, which is why their results have been poor during his absence. They have conceded 11 goals in six matches without the Frenchman and kept only one clean sheet, which came against a Bournemouth side that showed little attacking intent. The midfielder will return soon, but Conte needs to find a way of playing without the 26-year-old as they are currently reliant on him.

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Liverpool linked with last-ditch swoop for Roma left-back Emerson Palmieri – is he needed at Anfield?




With a hectic day expected at Anfield already, reports surfacing from Italy overnight have claimed that Liverpool have lined-up a surprise deadline day swoop for Roma’s left-back Emerson Palmieri.

Tutto Mercato Web claim that Jurgen Klopp has submitted an offer around the region of €21million euros (£19.35million) for the promising 23-year-old defender after an impressive year in Italy.

Palmieri suffered a long-term anterior cruciate ligament injury back in May but, despite being side-lined until October at the earliest, it is understood that this hasn’t put Liverpool off making a move.

Would Palmieri add anything to Liverpool?

If there’s one part of Liverpool’s current squad that has been constantly criticised over the past few Premier League seasons, and is arguably in need of some investment, then it is their leaky defence.

Inconsistent is the best way to describe the Liverpool back-line, and despite adding young Andrew Robertson to their squad from Hull City there’s still a lingering feeling that extra personnel is needed.

And in Palmieri there’s the potential to bring in one of the best full-backs in Serie A, with the Brazilian able to rival Juventus star Alex Sandro in the creativity and attacking intent he possesses.

Last season the vast majority of Roma’s attacking play came down the left-hand side, and that’s primarily due to the over-lapping instincts and advanced positioning of Palmieri, and the 23-year-old has shown that he loves nothing more than having the ball at his feet and getting involved in the play.

Consider the fact that he’ll have the likes of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane playing ahead of him down the left-hand side and it could become a truly potent combination that could push the Reds forward.

Despite being accustomed to more of a wing-back role at Roma, he has the raw potential to be a conventional left-back – as he would be at Anfield – and become a marauding figure down the flank.

There’s work that can be done on his defending, often caught out of position due to his desire to push further up the pitch, but under Klopp there’s no better man to help enhance his development at the back.

Should the speculation of a move be true, and Liverpool do look for a late deal for Palmieri, then their good relationship with Roma following the arrival of Mohamed Salah also could prove to be useful.


Palmieri to Liverpool
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It’s fully expected to be an extremely busy day for Jurgen Klopp over on Merseyside, with a number of potential deals in the balance, but a move for Palmieri isn’t likely to be one of those over the day. After Alberto Moreno’s impressive start to the campaign and the arrival of Hull City’s Andrew Robertson already, there’s a feeling that the left-side of defence has sufficient strength in depth.
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Leicester City

Is £40m a fair asking price for Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City amid Roma interest?



After it was revealed that Leicester City have rejected a £21 million bid for Riyad Mahrez from Italian side Roma, the Daily Mail claim that the Foxes are still holding out for a bid of £40 million in order to persuade them to sell. The news comes after Mahrez requested a move away from the King Power Stadium earlier this summer.

Why is he worth £40 million?

Very few people would argue against the notion that the winger was one of the best players in Europe as Leicester City romped to the Premier League title in 2016. With 17 goals and 11 assists in 37 games, he dominated the top flight with his creativity and exquisite distribution and finishing.

That has also boosted Mahrez’s reputation hugely. One of the few recognisable names of that Leicester side alongside Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante, Mahrez will be aware that his value will only remain so high for so long.

At 26 years of age, Mahrez is at the peak of his game and he still has room to develop. Any buying club know that they will be able to buy him with potential to sell him on again in the future and recoup some of the money lost in that initial investment.

Why is £40 million too much to ask for?

Last season was a mediocre one for the Algerian. Only five assists and a disappointing 10 goals in 2016/17 paled into insignificance alongside his displays of Leicester’s victorious 2015/16 campaign.

Whatever the off the field distractions were and, regardless of how the whole side saw their performances dip last season, Craig Shakespeare and co. will be more than aware that, based on last season alone, Mahrez would be worth nowhere near £40 million.

Add in the fact that Mahrez offers virtually no aerial threat, actually being more of a vulnerability at set pieces, and with his lack of work rate often meaning he doesn’t track back to defend, and it’s clear to see why Roma’s opening bid was worth just £20 million.

Is there any chances the Foxes will get the price they want?

It seems possible. Currently, Roma seem to be the only party with a strong interest which will not help their cause. To their favour, Leicester can be confident in the knowledge that the Italian side do have cash to splash after selling Mohamed Salah to Liverpool for over £30 million a few weeks ago.

On the other hand, in sporting director Monchi, Roma possess one of the game’s greatest negotiators. The Spaniard usually prefers to hunt out bargains and may be reluctant to go all out and spend a huge chunk of his budget on one player, even if they are as good as Mahrez.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Indolivescore ils.

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