One more year: Roma legend Totti signs on for 25th season, farewell tour

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ROME (AP) Roma captain Francesco Totti wants to end his lengthy playing career in style, by winning a second Serie A title with the capital club.

Totti, who turns 40 in September, penned a one-year extension to his contract on Tuesday that will tie him to the capital club until 2017.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Totti said. “I always wanted to end my career having only worn one shirt — the Roma one — and I think I earned it.”

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The talismanic forward wants to go out with a bang in his 25th and final season with the club.

“We believe,” Totti said. “Obviously at the start of the season people draw up their predictions and it all looks very simple. We’re aiming as high as possible, though we know that there is a team stronger than everyone in Juventus.

“That said, when I spoke to the president today he guaranteed that he will build a great Roma side and I told him that at least I will have the chance of winning a second Scudetto.”

Totti was a key factor in Roma’s revival last season after Luciano Spalletti replaced the sacked Rudi Garcia as coach.

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In one match, against Torino, Totti came off the bench in the 86th minute with Roma losing 2-1 and scored twice in three minutes. That sparked a five-match winning run which helped Roma finish third in Serie A and secure Champions League football.

When Totti hangs up his boots at the end of next season, he will step up to the boardroom as Roma’s technical director.

“I’m delighted, because after this year as a player I have another six as a director,” Totti said. “As I’ve always told the president and the club, I preferred to have a specific role such as technical director. They’ve agreed to that and I’m very grateful for it.”

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Totti, who won the 2006 World Cup with Italy, has made 758 appearances for Roma, scoring 304 goals. He tops both categories in the club’s all-time records.

“I’m pretty happy about it,” Roma’s American president Jim Pallotta said in a statement. “But I think probably all of Rome is pretty happy, so they don’t have to talk about it for the next six months now like they have for the last six months.”

“I just said to him a couple of minutes ago, `Enjoy the year!’ and really just take it all in, every stadium that he goes to because unfortunately it will be the last time he is in that stadium as a player.”

Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images
Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images