Francesco Totti gives Roma the recipe to win the Scudetto title
Roma captain Francesco Totti gave an interview to Il Romanista after returning into action during last Monday night’s home win over Udinese.
What is Roma for Francesco Totti?
“It’s hard to say, it’s not easy to find the words… I think my son will understand by himself when he grows up that supporting Roma gives you something more than the others. For me it’s everything, passion, love, desire to bring the team as far as possible.”
Because Francesco Totti is primarily a Roma fan…
“All of my life. Being the captain is an honor and a responsibility that has never weighed. It’s been like that immediately.”
Your first game at the stadium?
“Roma vs Napoli when we won 1-0 with a last-gasp goal from Voeller. There were works at the stadium, there wasn’t the Curva Sud.”
Neither against Sampdoria nor against Inter…
“And in fact I did not go to the stadium. Hearing De Sanctis scream and what coaches said seemed meaningless to me.”
Everything was alright against Udinese…
“That’s why I scored.”
Are “Roman Bastard” or “Roman piece of shit” territorially discriminatory?
“Yes, of course. Double standards were applied.”
When did the dream of the Scudetto end?
“In the last four or five games, not before. We believed, we were first, then second, we were there. However, it’s 99% gone. I’m keeping a 1% for the mathematics.”
Do you have any regret?
“It’s not about the league, it’s about the Coppa Italia semi-final against Napoli. Not the second leg, but the first one. If we had won two or three-null it would have been a different game. We had beaten Sampdoria in excellent shape and Juventus and we were going to beat Napoli. Then the final match against Fiorentina would have been great, with many former players.”
Genoa vs Juventus?
“I was about to break the TV, but that’s also how you win a championship.”
Why did you lose it?
“Because Juventus are strong. They are unreachable.”
Why are they unreachable?
“Because they are strong. For three years they have won, they must be given their merit. When things went less well they always had a little help. Nobody can deny it.”
Juventus were stronger, luckier and more helped…
“All those three things.”
Do you fear losing the second place?
“No, because it only depends on us, we want to get is as if it were our Scudetto. 12 games are left, we will try to do our best.”
How much do you lack to win the Scudetto?
A great forward, too?
“Yes, a great player for each department.”
“If only he came! He’s even younger than me (laughs, ed). You win with players like him. Anyway I’m not in charge of the transfers, I’ve never done that. But with three players this team can win next year.”
And playing well in the Champions League…
“Yes, but let’s qualify first (laughs, ed).”
Has it always been your lifetime dream?
“That’s the thing I lack. It’s the dream of every Romanista. It’s harder than winning a World Cup.”
Agostino Di Bartolomei?
“I was you, I remember a little but only good things about him.”
Would you name the stadium after him?
“Yes, or after someone who is not here anymore and was a great Romanista. It would be great to honor them all.”
Will you play in the new stadium, as Pallotta says?
“It depends on when they build it! I will play two more years for sure.”
Is Francesco Totti aware of who Francesco Totti is?
“When I go abroad. As soon as they see me and recognize me, I say ‘wow.’ Since I have worn the number 10 shirt and the captain’s armband I have had a different role. Having grown up here , having always worn this shirt, responsibilities have multiplied. But I’ve lived it with peace of mind. I know my strength, primarily the mental one. When you have the ball at your feet if you’re good you know what to do, but the strength of a player is in the head.”
Does the strength of Roma lie in this group?
“A group like in 2001. Let’s start over from here and improve. Including the coach. We are very close-knit.”
“He is special. I thought he would have been another challenge, young, foreign… But he has done great things. He is the coach who can help us win. Him and these team-mates.”
“I’m not going to tell players to stay. He is young, phenomenal and it’s not easy to find players like him around the world. Of course I make jokes with him. ‘Don’t worry,’ he tells me.”
“He immediately fit into the group, he looks like a veteran. Formidable player. I did not expect him to be so strong, I did not know. 20 million euros? ‘Wow,’ I said to myself, he must be a top player. The dedication to Kevin comes from the entire team. The number 6 is important, it has been worn by players who made history.”
“I have a great relationship with him. He gave me the armband in Bergamo. A wonderful guy. We still keep in touch.”
Who are you still in touch with?
“Candela, Montella, Di Francesco… I would have told Eusebio to lose if I had taken the field against Sassuolo.”
“A little rude, but he cared about the group. Anyway, I haven’t talked to him anymore.”
The World Cup in Brazil?
“I would bring Cassano. He is a little crazy, but he is nice. Me? If I’m fine, why not?”
“He hasn’t called me and I don’t think he will.”
“I hear from him, we text sometimes, I keep more in touch with Gattuso and Gigi [Buffon], as well as Lippi. I have a good relationship with Cannavaro and Toni.”
Daniele De Rossi’s suspension?
“When a Roman does something it always gets bigger. He knows he was wrong, but things are instinctive. I’m not here to justify him, he was wrong, he paid but we should not blame him. It can happen.”
Would you play with Balotelli?
“I do not think that can happen, I believe that the only way would be in the national team. We greeted each other, but for me that was it after what happened. It was an accumulation of lots of tension, his way of behaving… It’s done.”
This year had started so well…
“We had to take more points of advantage, but no one expected a start like that.”
What rating would you give yourself for the first seven games?
“A good rating. In Milan against Inter our plays were better than the goals. I realized what I did at the edge of our area before the 3-0.”
Will your farewell match be played between the 2001 Roma and the 2015 Roma?
“Yes, it could be. But maybe I will never play a farewell game. I don’t really want to coach. It may happen that when I stop playing I will feel the desire to be a coach, I do not know. For now I play. There are dreams to achieve with this team.”
Who will win the Champions League?
The Europa League?
The Coppa Italia?
“I hope Fiorentina, since they have so many Roma players.”
Cristiano Ronaldo o Messi?
What is Roma for you?
“Something you have inside and you can’t express.”
© Tonino Cagnucci & http://www.romanews.us