Francesco Totti

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Totti’s departure puts pressure on Roma’s American owner

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ROME (AP) Former Roma captain Francesco Totti left his position within the club’s management on Monday in a move that will increase fan opposition to the team’s American owner.

While he has been a technical director since retiring from playing two years ago, Totti said he was left out of decisions about the hiring and firing of coaches and moves in the player transfer market.

“I never had the chance to express myself. They never involved me,” Totti said. “The first year that can happen but by the second (year) I understood what they wanted to do. … They knew of my desire to offer a lot to this squad but they never wanted it. They kept me out of everything.

“It’s a day that I hoped never would have come,” Totti added in a news conference at the Italian Olympic Committee.

After playing 25 seasons with his hometown club and leading the club to its last Serie A title in 2001, the 42-year-old Totti remains Roma’s most emblematic figure.

“Presidents come and go, coaches come and go, players come and go. But not emblems,” Totti said.

Totti’s departure comes a month after then-captain Daniele De Rossi announced he, too, was leaving Roma after the club surprisingly decided not to renew his contract.

Totti said Romans were being pushed out of Roma since James Pallotta and some fellow Boston executives purchased the club in 2011 – becoming the first foreign majority owners in Serie A.

“For eight years here, since the Americans came, they’ve done everything they could to sweep us aside,” Totti said.

Pallotta runs the club from Boston and has not been to Rome in more than a year, and Totti said that was problematic.

“When the boss isn’t around everyone does whatever they feel like,” Totti said. “That’s the case anywhere.”

Pallotta said last week in a long interview published on Roma’s website that he had offered Totti the role of technical director.

“This is a very important role at the club, easily one of the most important and influential roles in our football operations, and the fact that we want him to take on the role says everything about what we think of Francesco,” Pallotta said.

“I don’t know what is being said and by whom, because I’ve given up reading most of the media, but I believe Francesco already has great influence on our decision making.”

While Paulo Fonseca was hired from Shakhtar Donetsk last week as Roma’s new coach, Totti deflected reports that he had preferred Gennaro Gattuso or Sinisa Mihajlovic for the job.

“The only coach I called was Antonio Conte,” Totti said, referring to the new Inter Milan coach.

Roma is coming off one of its worst seasons in years, with a sixth-place finish in Serie A meaning it missed out on the lucrative Champions League. A year after reaching the semifinals, Roma was eliminated from the Champions League by Porto in the first knockout stage.

Roma has also been struggling to build a new stadium.

Pallotta first presented a plan for a new stadium in March 2014, saying that it would be ready for the 2016-17 season – yet construction has still not started because of a series of bureaucratic delays.

Asked what it would take for him to return to Roma, Totti replied: “First of all, different ownership.”

Totti also confirmed long-held speculation that the club forced him to retire from playing before he wanted to, and added that he had a six-year contract within management.

“There were a lot of promises made,” he said. “But in the end they weren’t kept.”

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Totti presents his autobiography inside the Colosseum

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ROME (AP) Fans chanted outside as Francesco Totti presented his new autobiography before 300 invited guests inside the Colosseum on Thursday to mark the retired Roma captain’s 42nd birthday.

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A long line of former teammates and coaches of Totti – including Antonio Cassano, Vincent Candela, Marcello Lippi and Claudio Ranieri – were called on to the stage to recount various phases of his 25-year career with his hometown club.

“Un capitano” (A captain) – was co-written with journalist Paolo Condo and published by Rizzoli. Totti said jokingly, “I haven’t read any books. This is the first.”

Some of the book’s profits will go to the Bambino Gesu children’s hospital in Rome.

Watch: Signed Totti jersey shot into space

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Francesco Totti scored many a rocket goal, but his famous AS Roma jersey achieved something that isn’t humanly possible.

A rocket carrying two satellites also had an extra piece of luggage on-board, a signed Francesco Totti jersey, a replica of the one he wore on his final match for Roma on May 28. Totti retired from a 24-year playing career at the age of 40 this summer.

The rocket was built by Italian company Avio and after the club floated the idea of sending a Totti jersey into space on social media in early July, Totti himself and Avio came on board with the idea.

Watch below as the rocket successfully launches into space.

Totti ready to begin new role in Roma management

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ROME (AP) Recently retired Roma captain Francesco Totti is ready to begin his new role working in the club’s management, without any specific role for now.

Totti tells Roma’s website, “I want to be everything and nothing. I want to be an important person for Roma, and Roma really understand that’s what I want to do.”

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Totti plans to work with Roma’s new sporting director, Monchi, coach Eusebio Di Francesco and even club president James Pallotta.

Totti, who ended his 25-year playing career with his hometown club in May, says he will work with everyone “from the youth sector to the president. Then it is normal that it will take a while – six months, a year, two years, I don’t know – to truly find my real and best role.”

Juan Jesus: Totti planned to send penalty kick to fans in final Roma match

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Francesco Totti has been the definition of class for AS Roma for the better part of two decades, and his intentions in his final match with the Serie A side certainly seem par for the course when it comes to the Italian legend.

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With Roma needing a victory to beat out Napoli for second place in Italy’s top flight there was still much to play for on the final day of the Serie A season.

Luckily for the Giallorossi, the club managed to get their desired result, a 3-2 win over Genoa, but Totti wasn’t able to achieve his dream send off, according to teammate Juan Jesus.

“He was nervous all week,” Jesus told Porto Alegre-based station Radio Atlantida. “One day he would say, ‘I’m quitting,’ and the next he would be, ‘I’m going to keep playing.’ Before Roma-Genoa, we all got together in the dressing room and he said, ‘If I get a penalty, I won’t score it, I’ll kick the ball into the Curva [Sud].’

“There wasn’t a penalty so instead he sent an autographed ball into the Curvaafter the game. Totti is a fantastic person and he deserves far more than just that party. He’s somebody who helps those in need a lot, without anybody needing to know about it.

“We’re honoured to have played alongside him in this, his final season with Roma. He could have won a lot at other clubs because there are technically few around in the world like him.”

Although Totti wasn’t able to have his dream ending, at least according to Jesus, the Roma legend once again showed us why he’s been a fan favorite not only at the Stadio Olimpico but all throughout Italy, Europe and the globe since making his debut in 1992.