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La giusta distanza

IoeTotti

Grazie

Grazie per questo abbraccio. Grazie per stanotte. Per adesso, perché si vivono così pochi “adesso” nella vita. Grazie perché ti sei messo a nudo, e ci vogliono le palle per farlo, ci vogliono i controcoglioni di un romanista vero per amare. Grazie perché mi fai vergognare un po’ di meno di fare il mio mestiere, ché raccontare te e la Roma non solo non è cosa da poco, ma è un privilegio, una responsabilità, un dovere. Non hai mai amato così tanto come ieri. Grazie come papà. Grazie a nome di mio figlio. Sei in questo abbraccio, nel mio così come in quello di tanti altri padri e figli, ed è per questo che non devi avere troppa paura: secondo te ci lasceremo mai?

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Das Gesicht Roms

Francesco Totti steht für die AS Roma. Seit 21 Jahren lenkt er ihr Spiel und bricht Torrekorde. Er pfeift auf den freien Markt und lebt die römische Gelassenheit. Wenn er seine Karriere beendet, wird das die Stadt in eine Sinnkrise stürzen.

Immagine

Die Meisterschaft ist entschieden. Der Rückstand auf Juventus beträgt nach 27 Runden bei einem Spiel weniger 14 Punkte, mittlerweile wackelt für die Roma aber auch der zweite Platz, die drittplatzierte SSC Napoli rückt näher. Zuletzt spürte die Mannschaft die Abwesenheit von Francesco Totti. Schon zum zweiten Mal in dieser Saison musste der Kapitän eine Verletzungspause einlegen. Am 17. März feiert er gegen Udinese sein Comeback. Auf dem Weg zum Stadio Olimpico in Rom geht eine Viertelstunde vor Anpfiff ein Raunen durch die Menge, die Fans zücken ihre Smartphones und tuscheln nervös. Napoli hat das Auswärtsspiel gegen Torino mit einem umstrittenen Tor in letzter Minute doch noch gewonnen und ist jetzt punktegleich. Nicht einmal eine Dreiviertelstunde später hat Francesco Totti den Fans alle Sorgen genommen. In der 21. Minute erzielt er mit einem flachen Schuss knapp innerhalb des Strafraums das 1:0, sieben Minuten später spielt er einen hohen Pass über das halbe Spielfeld auf seinen Sturmkollegen Gervinho, der Mattia Destro das 2:0 auflegt. Die Curva Sud feiert. Nachdem er das Feld beim Spielstand von 3:1 verlassen hat, wird die Begegnung noch einmal eng, Udinese schießt den Anschlusstreffer, drängt aber vergeblich auf den Ausgleich. Bei Tottis Auswechslung erhebt sich das ganze Stadion, die Fans klatschen und singen: „C’e solo un capitano“ – es gibt nur einen Kapitän. Tatsächlich legt Totti seine Kapitänsschleife nie ab. Er spielt mit einer personalisierten Binde, die seinen Namen und die seiner Kinder trägt. Ersatzkapitäne müssen mit einer gewöhnlichen Schleife auskommen.

Trophäe Totti
Totti spielt seine 21. Saison für die AS Roma, seit 16 Jahren ist er ihr Kapitän, keiner traf in der italienischen Nachkriegsgeschichte öfter. Dabei ist Totti gar kein gelernter Stürmer, sondern ein klassischer Spielmacher. Die Geschichte des gebürtigen Römers, der nie ein anderes Trikot als das seines Herzensklubs getragen hat, klingt wie eines der Märchen, die im modernen Fußball immer seltener werden. „Seit Totti ist die Verwendung des Vornamens Francesco bei Neugeborenen in Rom massiv gestiegen“, sagt Luca Valdiserri, Sportredakteur der Tageszeitung Il Corriere della Sera. „Es wird sogar gewitzelt, dass auch der Papst den Namen gewählt hat, um sich in der Stadt beliebt zu machen.“

„Totti kann einfach alles“, sagt Tonino Cagnucci. „Wenn man eine Schwäche suchen müsste, ist es vielleicht am ehesten das Kopfballspiel, aber auch mit dem Kopf hat er schon einige Tore gemacht.“ Cagnucci ist Redakteur von Il Romanista, einer Tageszeitung, die sich ausschließlich mit der AS Roma beschäftigt. Nach dem Spiel gegen Udinese wird sie Totti eine gesamte Ausgabe widmen. Rom sei die einzige Stadt Italiens, in der eine solche Zeitung genügend Leser finde, sagt Cagnucci. „Der Verein hat zwar wenig gewonnen, dafür ist die Leidenschaft für ihn umso größer. Und wir haben Totti, er wiegt mehr als irgendeine Trophäe.“

Ein Sohn des Volkes
Wenige Bushaltestellen vom Kolosseum entfernt drängen sich außerhalb der antiken Stadtmauern im Stadtteil San Giovanni keine Touristen mehr. Historische Gebäude würden sie hier vergeblich suchen, ein Häuserblock aus den 1960er Jahren reiht sich an den anderen. Die Römer sagen „popolare“ zu einer solchen Gegend. Die wörtliche Übersetzung „volkstümlich“ passt aber nur bedingt für ein Wohnviertel der römischen Mittelschicht. Hier betreibt Giulio Lucarelli in der Via Vetulonia das „Core de Roma“, ein der AS Roma gewidmetes Restaurant. „Es schien mir naheliegend, das Lokal in der Straße zu eröffnen, in der Francesco Totti aufgewachsen ist“, sagt er. Links auf Hausnummer 18 lebte die Familie im ersten Stock, hier hat Totti seine Kindheit und Jugend verbracht. Gleich gegenüber der Volksschule Alessandro Manzoni und dem Fußballplatz der Fortitudo, des Klubs bei dem er seine Fußballerkarriere begann.

„Ich bin ein Sohn des Volkes“, sagte Francesco Totti über sich selbst einmal. Das Volk ist hier in den Innenbezirken Roms mehrheitlich der AS Roma zugetan. Doch innerhalb der Familie war die heute so enge Verbindung zwischen dem Verein und Francesco Totti nicht selbstverständlich. „Mama Fiorella ist Lazio-Anhängerin gewesen, so wie ich“, erzählt Anna Maria Petricone in ihrer Trafik in San Giovanni. Früher war sie Lehrerin, Totti ihr Schüler. Als der Name Totti immer öfter in den Notizbüchern der Spielerbeobachter auftauchte, war auch Lazio an ihm interessiert. Totti selbst und sein Vater waren aber überzeugte Roma-Anhänger, die Mama Fiorella den Wechsel ausreden konnten. So kam der talentierte Bub 1989 im Alter von zwölf Jahren zur Roma, vier Jahre später debütierte er beim Auswärtsspiel in Brescia in der Serie A.

Sinnloses Versteckspiel
Ein steiler Aufstieg für den jungen Totti. Bei seiner ersten Kasernierung konnte er die ganze Nacht nicht schlafen, weil er das Zimmer mit seinem Idol Giuseppe Giannini teilte. „Er war ein sehr schüchterner Bub, wenn er mit Erwachsenen oder in der Klasse sprechen musste – fast so, als sei er gar nicht anwesend“, erinnert sich seine Lehrerin. „Wenn er Fußball gespielt hat, hat sich sein Verhalten komplett verändert, da war er plötzlich ganz extrovertiert. Ich habe ihm immer gesagt: ‚Francesco, rede mit deinen Füßen, das gelingt dir besser.“

In Carlo Mazzone, der im Sommer 1993 das Traineramt übernahm, fand Totti seinen ersten wichtigen Mentor. „Ich habe gar nicht gewusst, wie er heißt, aber bei einem Trainingsspiel mit der Jugendmannschaft ist mir dieser Bub aufgefallen: Er war schnell, hatte eine gute Übersicht, eine großartige Technik, Talent beim Dribbling und einen starken Schuss“, schreibt Mazzone in seiner Autobiografie. „Ich habe meinem Co-Trainer gesagt, er soll ihn sofort in die Kampfmannschaft einberufen, aber gleich drei andere Junge mitnehmen, um die Journalisten zu blenden.“ Totti ließ sich allerdings nicht lange verstecken, mit 18 war er Stammspieler und erzielte seine ersten Tore.

Doch mit dem Abgang Mazzones 1996 schlitterte auch Totti in eine kleine Krise. Der neue Trainer Carlos Bianchi setzte nicht auf das Talent und überlegte gar, Totti zu verleihen. Nach nicht einmal einem Jahr war die Ära des Argentiniers wieder beendet, die Roma konnte den Klassenerhalt erst drei Tage vor Saisonende fixieren. Es folgten Zdenek Zeman und der Durchbruch Tottis. Den ersten Vertrauensbeweis erhielt er schon im Sommer: das Trikot mit der Nummer zehn. Zuletzt hatte es Giuseppe Giannini, ebenfalls ein gebürtiger Römer, getragen, der den Verein im Jahr zuvor nach 15 Saisonen Richtung Graz verlassen hatte. „Sein Trikot hängt in meinem Zimmer“, sagte Totti danach der Presse. „Endlich kann ich die Nummer zehn im Olimpico tragen, anders als früher, als ich damit in die Kurve gegangen bin.“ Dank der harten Vorbereitung Zemans kam Totti auch körperlich besser in Form, im 4-3-3-System des Trainers blühte er als Linksaußen auf. Ein Jahr später, am 31. Oktober 1998, wurde Totti mit knapp 22 Jahren Kapitän.

Mai 2014

© Jakob Rosenberg & Martin Schreiner

 

 

La giusta distanza

La doverosa distanza

La giusta distanza

Francesco Totti

Cristian ancora non me lo ha chiesto che cos’è per me la Roma, se dovesse farlo non sarebbe facile per me rispondere

Cos’è la Roma per Francesco Totti? 

Difficile da dire, non è facile trovare le parole per farlo… Mio figlio credo che lo capirà da solo crescendo che quando tifi Roma hai qualcosa in più rispetto agli altri. Per me è tutto, è passione, è amore, è voglia di portarla il più lontano possibile.

Perché Francesco Totti è soprattutto un tifoso della Roma.

Da sempre. Esserne il Capitano è un onore e una responsabilità che però non mi ha mai pesato. E’ stato così da subito.

La tua prima partita allo stadio?

Roma-Napoli quando vincemmo 1-0 con un gol di Voeller all’ultimo. C’erano i lavori allo stadio, non c’era la Curva Sud.

Neanche con la Sampdoria, nemmeno con l’Inter c’è stata.

E io infatti allo stadio non ci sono andato. Dico con l’Inter, perché con la Samp mi aveva fatto un effetto brutto. Sentire le urla di De Sanctis, quello che dicono gli allenatori mi sembrava senza senso, allora non ci sono andato.

Con l’Udinese è tornato tutto a posto.

E infatti ho segnato.

“Romano bastardo” o “Romano pezzo di merda” è discriminazione territoriale?

Sì, certo. E’ evidente. Su questa storia sono stati usati due pesi e due misure.

Andare allo stadio e tifare: è vero che da ragazzino stavi al Flaminio nel mitico derby vinto con un gol di Voeller, il derby con poche migliaia di romanisti? Era il 18 marzo del 1990. Cioè ieri.

Sì c’ero. C’è pure una foto con un cerchietto e dentro ci sto io. La prima volta andai con mio padre, al derby con Bruno Ripani. Sono partite da sogno queste.

Quand’è che il sogno quest’anno è finito?

Nelle ultime quattro-cinque partite, non prima. Noi credevamo allo scudetto, eravamo primi, poi secondi, stavamo lì. Ci credevamo. Comunque è svanito al 99%, un 1% me lo tengo. Così per l’aritmetica.

Il rimpianto di quest’anno?

Guarda che non è legato al campionato, ma alla semifinale col Napoli. All’andata, non al ritorno. Se avessimo vinto due, tre a zero sarebbe stata tutta un’altra partita.Avevamo battuto una Samp in ottima forma, avevamo battuto la Juventus e stavamo per battere il Napoli. Poi la partita secca con la Fiorentina sarebbe stata bella, con tanti ex,sarebbe stata una gara tutta da giocare.

I rimpianti… l’hai vista Genoa-Juventus?

Se l’ho vista? (fa una smorfia, vicino c’è pure Florenzi con Nanni che ne fanno un’altra, ndr) Tra un po’ spaccavo il televisore, ma uno scudetto si vince anche così

Perché l’abbiamo perso?

Perché la Juve è forte. Sono inarrivabili.

Perché sono inarrivabili?

Perché sono forti. Sono tre anni che vincono, va dato loro merito. Quando le cose andavano meno bene avevano sempre un piccolo aiutino. Dati di fatto, visibili, che nessuno può negare.

Mettiamola così: la Juventus è stata più forte, più fortunata o più aiutata?

Tutte e tre le cose.

A tuo figlio è difficile spiegare cos’è la Roma, ma come glielo spieghi quando non fischiano un rigore, quando non vedono un fuorigioco? 

Eh, guarda che succede veramente, a volte mi dice: “Ma papà perché l’arbitro non ha dato quel rigore?” e io gli rispondo: “Sono episodi a papà”. E perché quest’altra cosa? “È un episodio a papà”.

Temi anche per il secondo posto?

No, perché dipende solo da noi, vogliamo centrarlo come fosse il nostro scudetto. Purtroppo capitano questi episodi sfavorevoli a noi, ma se recriminiamo su tutto ci potremmo fare un film. Evitiamo. Mancano 12 partite, cercheremo di fare il massimo.

Episodi a parte, quando ci sarà la grande puntata? Quanto manca allo scudetto?

Poco.

Cosa?

Tre acquisti.

Anche un grande attaccante?

Sì. Un grande giocatore per reparto.

Si è fatto il nome di Drogba.

Magari venisse! E’ pure più giovane di me (ride) E’ con giocatori così che vinci. Comunque non sono io che faccio il mercato, né mai l’ho fatto. Ma con tre giocatori questa squadra può vincere il prossimo anno.

E fare una Champions di livello?

Prima annamoce eh (ride)… però sì.

Quello è sempre il tuo sogno?

Quella è la cosa che mi manca. È il sogno di tutti i romanisti. E’ più difficile che vincere un Mondiale.

Il 30 maggio saranno trent’anni da quella finale…

Ricordo poco. Ero piccolo. Ho dei flash…

Agostino Di Bartolomei.

Ero piccolo, ricordo poco ma di lui solo cose belle.

Lo intitoleresti lo stadio al lui?

Sì, a lui o a qualcuno che non c’è più è che è stato un grande romanista. Sarebbe bello poterli onorare tutti.

Ci giocherai nel nuovo stadio, come dice Pallotta?

Eh dipende quando lo costruiscono! Io questo e altri due anni li faccio sicuro.

Francesco Totti si rende conto di chi è Francesco Totti?

No.

Mai?

Quando vado all’estero. Appena mi vedono e mi riconoscono, mi dico “cavolo”. Da quando ho preso la 10 e la fascia da capitano ho avuto un ruolo differente da quello del semplice giocatore. Essendo cresciuto qui, avendo indossato sempre questa maglia, le responsabilità si sono moltiplicate. Ma le ho vissute con tranquillità. Conosco la mia forza, ma più che altro quella mentale. Quando hai la palla tra i piedi se sei bravo sai cosa farne, ma la forza di un giocatore è nella testa.

La forza di questa Roma sta nel gruppo?

Un gruppo così ce l’abbiamo avuto nel 2001 e io ne ho viste de cose eh… Ammazza se ne ho viste… La Roma deve essere questa e da qui bisogna ripartire e migliorare. Allenatore compreso. Siamo molto affiatati. C’è una grossa unione come quell’anno, quando eravamo un tutt’uno anche fuori. E Garcia è speciale. Pensavo ad un’altra scommessa: giovane, straniero… Invece ha fatto cose grandi.

Invece per lo scudetto ci dev’essere lui?

Sì, lui è l’allenatore che può farci vincere. Lui e questi compagni.

Hai detto a Pjanic di restare?

Non sto qui a dire ai giocatori di rimanere, ma spero lo faccia. È un giocatore giovane, fenomenale, trovarne così in giro per il mondo non è facile. Una battuta gliela faccio eh, ma poi ognuno sa se rimanere o no. La battuta gliela faccio spesso e volentieri, lui ti dice “sì sì, tranquillo”.

Kevin Strootman.

Lui si è inserito subito nel gruppo, sembra un veterano. Giocatore formidabile, giocatore che si è visto come approccio alla gara, come personalità. Non me lo aspettavo così forte, non lo conoscevo. È arrivato all’improvviso, in un periodo altalenante dove tutti andavano e venivano. Però, 20 milioni? “Cavolo”, mi sono detto, deve essere un top player.

Hai voluto tu la maglia per lui?

Tutta la squadra voleva la maglia. Il 6 è importante, l’hanno indossata, e la indosseranno giocatori che hanno fatto la storia.

Come Aldair.

Con Aldair ho un grande rapporto. A Bergamo mi lasciò la fascia. Un ragazzo splendido. Lo sento ancora.

Delle tue Roma chi senti ancora?

Candela sento spesso, oltre a Montella, Di Francesco… Fossi stato in campo col Sassuolo a Eusebio gli avrei detto di perdere. (ride)

Capello?

Un po’ rude, ma alla fine ci teneva al gruppo. Alla sua maniera. Comunque no, non ci ho più parlato, né l’ho sentito.

Con Baldini?

Nemmeno.

Cassano?

Si, l’ho visto a Roma-Parma. È mezzo matto, ma è simpatico.

Lo porteresti ai Mondiali?

Sì, e se continua così è giusto che ci vada.

E Totti ce lo porterebbe Totti in Brasile?

Perché no? Se sta bene, ce lo porterei.

Prandelli lo hai sentito?

Non mi ha mai chiamato e non credo mi chiamerà.

Del Piero?

A volte tramite sms lo sento, Gattuso e Gigi li sento di più. Lippi lo sento spesso, è venuto anche qui. Abbiamo un bel rapporto anche con Cannavaro e Toni.

Roma e l’Italia: Daniele De Rossi. La sua squalifica come l’hai vissuta?

Quando fa una cosa un romano si ingigantisce sempre. È la realtà dei fatti. Sa di aver sbagliato a fare determinati gesti, ma sono cose istintive. Non sto qui a giustificare, ha sbagliato, ha pagato ma non dobbiamo dargli addosso. Succede.

Succedono tante cose: giocheresti con Balotelli?

Non credo che possa capitare, credo che l’unico modo sia in Nazionale. Ci siamo salutati, ma per me è finita lì dopo quell’episodio. Era un accumulo di partite, di tensione, il suo modo di comportarsi… È finita lì.

Quest’anno era iniziata così bene…

Dovevamo prendere più punti di vantaggio lì. Nessuno si aspettava però una partenza simile.

E nemmeno un Totti ancora una volta così grande. Che voto ti dai nelle prime sette gare?

Un bel voto. A Milano contro l’Inter sono state più belle le azioni che i gol. Rivedendole, mi sono reso conto di cosa ho fatto al limite della nostra area sull’azione che ha portato al 3-0.

Rivedendoti un giorno, la tua partita d’addio sarà la Roma del 2001 contro la Roma del 2015? 

Sì potrebbe essere. Però magari non farò mai una partita d’addio. Non è che ho tanta voglia di allenare. Può darsi pure che quando smetto scatta la voglia di fare l’allenatore, non lo so. Adesso gioco. Ci sono dei sogni da raggiungere con questa squadra.

A proposito, chi la vince la Champions quest’anno?

Il Real Madrid.

L’Europa League?

La Fiorentina.

La Coppa Italia?

Spero la Fiorentina perché c’è mezza Roma.

Domanda per tutti: Cristiano Ronaldo o Messi?

Oggi Cristiano Ronaldo.

Domanda per te: cos’è la Roma?

Una cosa che hai dentro e che non riesci a dire.

Forse nemmeno a un figlio. Francesco Totti, il giorno della festa del papà. 

 

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.

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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?
“Little.”

What?
“Three signings.”

A great forward, too?
“Yes, a great player for each department.”

Drogba?
“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?
“No.”

Never?
“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.”

Rudi Garcia?
“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.”

Pjanic?
“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.”

Strootman?
“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.”

Like Aldair…
“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.”

Capello?
“A little rude, but he cared about the group. Anyway, I haven’t talked to him anymore.”

Baldini?
“Neither.”

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?”

Prandelli?
“He hasn’t called me and I don’t think he will.”

Del Piero?
“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?
“Real Madrid.”

The Europa League?
“Fiorentina.”

The Coppa Italia?
“I hope Fiorentina, since they have so many Roma players.”

Cristiano Ronaldo o Messi?
“Cristiano Ronaldo.”

What is Roma for you?
“Something you have inside and you can’t express.”

© Tonino Cagnucci & http://www.romanews.us

Francesco Totti nous dit TOUT !

Francesco Totti, nostro Capitano, s’est confié au journal Il Romanista dans le cadre d’une interview. Des sujets privés, pro ont été exposés et comme à l’accoutumé Il Pupone s’est livré sans langue de bois. Le Romafrenchclub a traduit pour vous l’interview !

Immagine

« Francesco … »

Que représente la Roma pour toi ?

– C’est pas facile à dire, difficile de trouver les mots. Je crois que mon fils comprendra tout seul en grandissant que quand tu supportes la Roma, tu as quelque chose en plus par rapport aux autres. Pour moi, c’est un tout : une passion, un amour et une volonté d’aller le plus loin possible. Être le capitaine de la Roma est un honneur et une responsabilité qui ne m’a jamais pesé.

Raconte-nous ton premier match ?

– C’était Roma-Naples, on a gagné 1-0 avec un but de Rudi Voeller à la dernière minute. Il y avait des travaux dans le stade, la Curva Sud n’existait pas à l’époque.

Tu n’as pas assisté au match contre la Sampdoria ni l’Inter ?

– Je ne suis pas allé au stade en effet. Je ne suis pas venu seulement pour l’Inter car le match contre la Sampdoria m’avait fait un effet terrible. Entendre les cris de De Sanctis et les consignes des entraîneurs, ca me semblait n’avoir aucun sens dans l’Olimpico donc j’ai décidé de ne pas venir pour le match de l’Inter.

Contre l’Udinese, tout est rentré ans l’ordre …

– Oui c’est vrai et en plus j’ai marqué.

« Romains batards » et « Romains bande de merdes » est-ce des discriminations territoriales pour toi ?

– Oui bien sûr. C’est évident! Sur cette histoire, il y a eu deux poids deux mesures.

A quel moment le rêve Scudetto s’est il envolé cette année?

– Dans les 4 ou 5 derniers matchs, pas avant! Nous croyions  au scudetto, nous étions leader puis second, nous étions dans la course. Désormais c’est fini à 99%. Je garde 1% juste pour l’arithmétique.

Le regret de cette année?

– Le regret ne concerne pas le championnat mais la coupe d’Italie. Le match aller et non le match retour. Si on avait gagné l’aller 2 ou 3-0, le retour aurait été une autre partie. On avait battu la samp, la juve et on était sur le point de battre le Napoli. Et puis la finale contre la Fiorentina aurait été belle, il y a tellement d’anciens romains la bas, ça aurait été un vrai beau match à jouer.

Pourquoi avons-nous perdu ce scudetto cette année?

– Nous avons perdu le scudetto car la Juve est inatteignable.

Pourquoi la Juve est inatteignable ?

– Parce qu’ils sont forts, ca fait 3 ans qu’ils gagnent, c’est tout à leur mérite. Quand les choses vont moins bien, ils ont eu la petite aide qu’il leur fallait. Les faits visibles le montrent, personne ne peut le nier!

La Juve est donc : plus forte, plus chanceuse, plus avantagée ?

– Un peu des 3!

Crains tu de perdre la 2eme place ?

– Non car cela dépend seulement de nous. Nous voulons centrer cet objectif car c’est un peu comme notre scudetto. Il reste 12 matchs, nous tacherons de faire le maximum.

Que manque t-il à la Roma pour gagner le titre?

– Peu de choses …

Quoi exactement ?

– 3 recrues!

un grand attaquant également ?

– OUi, un grand attaquant comme point de référence.

Le nom de Drogba a été évoqué …

– Oui, il peut peut être venir! Et puis il est plus jeune que moi (rires)! C’est avec ce genre de joueurs que l’on gagne! Après ce n’est pas moi qui fait le mercato et je ne l’ai jamais fait. Mais avec 3 joueurs en plus, cette équipe peut gagner l’année prochaine.

La C1 est toujours ton plus grand rêve ?

– C’est la seule chose qui me manque. C’est le rêve de tous les romanistes. C’est plus difficile à gagner qu’une Coupe du Monde.

Le 30 mai ce sera l’anniversaire souvenir de la finale de C1 perdue contre Liverpool à Rome?

– Je ne m’en souviens pas beaucoup, j’étais petit. J’ai juste des flashs …

Agostino Di Bartolomei

– J’étais petit, j’ai pas beaucoup de souvenirs mais de lui je n’ai entendu que des bonnes choses.

Nommerais-tu le stade à son nom?

– Oui, lui ou un autre individu qui a été un grand Romaniste. Ce serait beau de pouvoir les honorer tous!

Tu y joueras dans ce stade, comme dit Pallotta ?

– Euh ca dépend de la date à laquelle ils construisent le stade. Cette année et les deux prochaines, je pourrais y jouer sûr !

Francesco Totti se rend t-il compte de qui est Francesco Totti ?

– Non.

La Force de la Roma cette année est dans le Groupe ?

– Un groupe comme celui là, je l’avais vu en 2001 (année du dernier titre). La Roma doit être comme ça et de ça nous devons repartir et s’améliorer l’an prochain, entraîneur compris. Et Garcia est spécial. Je croyais que ce serait un N-ième pari avec un entraîneur jeune, étranger … au final il a fait de grandes choses!

Donc pour jouer le Titre ca passe par lui ?

– Oui, il est l’entraîneur qui peut nous faire gagner. Lui et son staff!

Tu as dit à Pjanic de rester à la Roma ?

– Je ne suis pas là pour dire aux joueurs de rester mais j’espère qu’il le fera. C’est un joueur jeune, phénoménal. Dénicher un joueur comme ca dans le monde ce n’est pas facile. Je lui fais quand même des blagues sur le fait de rester à Rome, à chaque fois il me répond OUI, oui sois tranquille!

Kevin Strootman

– Il s’est inséré très vite dans le groupe tel un vétéran. C’est un joueur formidable. Je ne le pensais pas aussi fort, je dois avouer que je ne le connaissais pas. Il est arrivé à l’improviste mais à 20 millions d’euros, je me suis dit « Put*** » çà doit être un grand joueur.

Des anciens de la Roma, qui côtoies-tu encore?

– Je suis souvent en contact avec Candela, également Montella et Di Francesco …

Capello?

– Il était un peu dur mais au final il tenait au groupe … A sa manière! Depuis nous n’avons plus échangés, parlés ensemble.

et Baldini ?

– De même

Cassano?

Je l’ai vu pour Roma-Parme. Il est à moitié fou mais est sympathique.

tu l’emmènerais au Brésil ?

Si il continue comme ça, il mérite d’y aller.

Et Totti, tu le prendrais dans le groupe pour le Brésil ?

– Pourquoi pas? si il est bien, je le prendrais.

As tu été contacté par Prandelli ?

Il ne m’a jamais contacté et je ne crois pas qu’il le fera.

Pourrais tu jouer avec Balotelli?

– Je ne crois pas que ça pourrait se produire sauf peut être en équipe nationale. Nous nous sommes salués mais pour moi c’est terminé depuis l’épisode des insultes/ expulsion lors de la finale de Coupe d’Italie contre l’Inter Milan. C’était une accumulation de matchs, de tensions, de modes de comportements … ça s’est finit là.

Qui gagnera la Champions pour toi cette année ?

– Le Real Madrid

L’Europe League ?

– La Fiorentina

La Coupe d’Italie ?

– J’espère la Fiorentina car c’est à moitié la Roma (Montella, Pizarro, Prade, Aquilani, …)

Pour toi, qu’est ce que la Roma?

– Une chose que j’ai en moi mais que je n’arrive pas à décrire, exprimer!

19 Marzo 2014

© Tonino Cagnucci & Romafrenchclub

The Footballers

Last week I came across a write-up on the excellent website Studio, about a 2012 documentary by film maker Paolo Gerimei. It’s a documentary on the Tottis that never were: three Romans, all from the class of 1977 like Francesco Totti, and like him stars in Roma’s and Italy’s youth teams. One of them, Marco Caterini, started in goal for Italy’s youth national teams and was considered more promising than his back-up, one Gigi Buffon. Daniele Rossi played in attack with Totti right up until 1993 when Totti was moved up to the first team by Vujadin Boskov, but Rossi was seen as at least Totti’s equal up until that fork in the road. Caterini is now a surveyor, Rossi a waiter at a Testaccio restaurant. They had their road ahead paved out, and the backing and belief of veterans of the game. Bruno Conti, Ezio Sella, Carlo Mazzone—they all believed in them at one point or another, but it didn’t work out. As one line in the trailer up on top goes: to be able to play football, it’s not enough to be good at it.

From what I’ve been able to piece together from reviews and opinions by those who have seen the full film (I haven’t), it’s not a portrait of defeat. It seems more like a (by all accounts) successful attempt to show the impossible odds you must overcome to make it in professional sports, how big a part luck plays, and that life’s not over even if you’re retire at age twenty-three. It seems beautiful, and I am now scrambling to see it as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, there are even more arresting examples of young stars-to-be than those of Caterini, Rossi and Capponi who star in the documentary. Gianluca Leonardi was still a part of Roma’s successful primavera team when he and a friend were arrested for snatching a woman’s purse in 2012. That’s one way to throw away a career, but by no means a revolutionary act. Twenty years earlier, Daniele (with the descriptive nickname il Calciatore, the Footballer), who had played alongside Totti for more than four years in Roma’s youth teams, was arrested in Brescia. Fate can be a cruel mistress: Brescia is the same city where Totti made his Serie A debut. As one went up, another fell down. When Totti visited Rome’s prison Regina Coeli many years later, a charitable visit he as Roma’s captain makes now and again, one of the inmates called out to him;

Hi Francesco, I’m Daniele! We used to play together, do you remember?

He did. As Tonino Cagnucci, who was with Totti that day, writes in his book on the captain, how could he not? They played together for four years, in Roma and on the beach. Four years can be an eternity and a half due to the memories and bonds forged. Daniele the Footballer had remained a fixture in the very Roma youth team Francesco Totti was spending less and less time with, in favor of practicing the first team. But Totti was a prodigy, so not keeping up with him doesn’t necessarily signify a career’s end, even before it could begin. Breaking a calf bone, however, did. Daniele the Footballer was injured for over a year, and never came back. When Roma returned to Brescia, where Totti had made his Serie A debut seven months earlier, Daniele did so as a supporter, as an ultrà. Daniele the Footballer was arrested that day, one of many in the midst of crowd trouble.

When they met the next time, at the taping of a TV segment, Daniele the Footballer again asked Francesco the Captain if he remembered him, and if he would sign his Roma shirt. He wouldn’t. “You sign it instead,” Totti said to him. And so Daniele the Footballer signed a Roma shirt, the Roma he’d dreamt of playing for and which he still supported, with the number 8 he’d always played in on the back, and handed it over to Roma’s captain, his old teammate. “You were just more unlucky than I was,” Francesco the Captain said. It was Totti’s way of both making an old friend proud and happy, and to remind himself that he’d been lucky. Lucky, even if he was always the most talented; lucky, even if he was a prodigy.

When some people talk about Francesco Totti, it’s done dismissively. Sure he stayed in Roma all this time, but it’s not like he tested himself in great teams, they might say. Life is easy for him in Rome, so it’s not that big a deal. But once you stop and think about the many hurdles he had to overcome before anyone in Curva Sud knew who he was, before he’d even been called up to a bench in Serie A, the room starts spinning. He wanted to leave when he was on the cusp of stardom, because things weren’t easy for him either. They may look easy now, but knowing that he, too, struggled with making it should put things in perspective. And once you think about the many Tottis that never were, that never got that break, or who didn’t have precisely what it took, it’s dizzying. There’s an incredibly small chance you’ll make it at all as a footballer, to make that jump from talent to professional. Even if you don’t become the greatest Italian player since TVs were in black-and-white, which Totti is, just being there is making it.

Immagine

AND SO WE MOVE TO THE PRESENT DAY. This winter, Roma signed eight players. Of those eight, three are meant to make for a more complete roster immediately; Radja Nainggolan, Michel Bastos and Rafael Toloi (from Sao Paulo). The other players Roma signed this month are an investment in tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, rather than today: there’s Leandro Paredes from Boca, subsequently passed on to Chievo on loan for six months. He’s 19. In return for that favor, Chievo gave Roma Alberto Tibolla, born 1996. The Slovak Tomas Vestenicky was born the same year, as were Antonio Sanabria, who arrived from Barcelona B, Valmir Berisha and Nemanja Radonjic. Petar Golubovic, from OFK Beograd, belongs to the class of ’94 and is practically an elderly statesman in comparison to the others. It’s also taken for more or less granted that Roma will sign Brazilian defender Abner this coming summer, no prizes for guessing that he too was born in 1996.

In addition to that, Roma and Pescara aborted three loan deals between the two clubs and Frascatore and Piscitella, 21 and 22 years old, have returned to Roma. That’s a huge influx of talent. The ghosts of talents past are pushing themselves into our collective conscience by now, forcing us to wonder who among these will end up leading regular lives, and who will end up as professional footballers.

The majority of them are probably signed not because Roma believes they’ll make it into Garcia’s team by 2016, but in case they might. If they don’t, they can be spun off into a profit as they move to other clubs in their early 20′s, or as pawns to trade in other deals. The best example of this approach of late has probably been Lazio’s gamble on Keita. They signed him for a pittance when he was 16, and two years later he’s moving past the threshold to the first team and has impressed enough people in football that they could probably make a 10x profit on him already. Another year, another dozen or so good showings and that number could easily jump to 20 times their initial investment in him.

That Roma hedges its bets and signs several young players all competing for time, space and confidence is in its foundation a rational response to the difficulty in developing young players capable of playing at a high level. It’s not a matter of expecting a few to drop off on the path to greatness, it’s not even a matter of a few making it and a majority dropping off. To get a talented 16-17 year old to develop into Champions League-caliber is akin to pushing a camel through the eye of a needle. Clubs know this. They know the uncertainty surrounding a 17 year old is much greater than that attached to a 19 year old. Two years later in a player’s development, at 21, we realize that we knew so little even at 19 when we thought we had some answers.

Youth football isn’t a very good indicator of future stardom. And that’s a problem that’s not been solved satisfyingly in Italy yet, even if Roma’s hedged bets seems the closest to forcing a patchworked solution. To go from talented to genuinely good, players need time, confidence and experience from senior level football, even if it’s not of the highest quality. They need that great equalizer where they can’t live off speed or strength alone, where they’re not dominating every game. Barcelona develops as many players as almost anyone, largely because they’re able to weather them in Spain’s second division for Barcelona B. Ajax develops even more talents, largely because they can afford (and dare) to give kids, whom in Italy would play in primavera teams, extended runs in their first team. Not seldom they even make it into starting elevens for longer periods.

The best answer to being stuck in between a league slightly too strong for coaches to dare go the Ajax way, and unable to control playing time for their teens in Serie B, has best been answered by Chelsea. For years they’ve cherry-picked talented kids from around the world, and spun them off onto several years of successive loan deals to less strong leagues where they’re able to grow in the shade. It seems to me that this is what Roma is being inspired by, but as elsewhere this facet of football reveals the differences between the haves and the have-nots. Chelsea are able to buy players slightly older than Roma, and thus shaving a couple of percentage points worth of doubt off every deal. Roma has to gamble more on the 16 and 17-year olds, unable to afford the 19-year olds.

Don’t expect many of them to make it, it’s an achievement if even one of them does.

Data pubblicazione: 4 February, 2014

© http://www.blogstituta.com

Now there’s 225 reasons why Totti is unique

roma-genoa-3-1-totti-con-figli-sei-forte-papa-05

James Horncastle explains why Francesco Totti’s goalscoring feat has provoked such an emotional response in Rome.

There was a pitch invasion after Roma’s 3-1 win against Genoa on Sunday night. A girl and a boy made a dash for Francesco Totti. They were fans of his. But of course they were. They were his kids, Chanel and Cristian.

“It was a beautiful surprise,” Totti later said. “I thought they were at home. They’d been ill during the week.”

They came bearing a gift. It was a T-shirt they’d made specially for him. While they’re too young to remember them all, they do know that their dad likes a T-shirt.

From the ‘I have purged you again’ one he revealed under his jersey after the derby in 1999 to the ‘You’re Unique’ one he dedicated to their mother in the same fixture in 2002. More recently of course there was the tongue in cheek ‘Sorry for the Delay’ T-Shirt he showed after ending a goal drought in 2012 and how can we forget his ‘The King of Rome Is Not Dead’ one, inspired by a commentator.

This T-shirt probably meant more to him than all the others though. ‘You’re great Papà’ read the slogan. It brought tears to Totti’s eyes. “For a father things like these are unforgettable,” he said. “It will remain an unforgettable evening.” He pulled the T-shirt on, grabbed his kids by the hand and ran under the Curva Sud with them and his team-mates.

Earlier in the evening, one of those team-mates, Daniele De Rossi had taken a tumble in Genoa’s penalty area. The referee had pointed to the spot. The ball was placed on it. Totti stood over and looked at goalkeeper Sebastien Frey.

One can only imagine what was going through his head. Score this and he makes history. Again. There was no cucchiaio. Totti didn’t try to be too clever. He just drilled it into the bottom left hand corner.

The thumb of one hand went into his mouth. The index finger of another pointed to the sky in celebration. And with that the scoreboard at the Olimpico lit up. “Totti, Nordahl 225.” He’d done it. Totti was now joint second on the list of Serie A’s all-time top goalscorers, a remarkable achievement when you consider how, for much of his career, he’d played either on the left or as a No.10.

In the Tribuna Tevere, a banner was unfurled that simply read: “Grazie Capitano.” Totti, who had promised to reach the landmark that night, had already prepared a response. His message to the fans was relayed via the advertising boards surrounding the pitch. “Thanks to all of you, [love] Francesco.”

It was only the 16th minute. There was of course still a game to be played. Former Roma player Marco Borriello soon equalised for Genoa from the spot. And so, Totti went back to work.

Shortly after half-time, his corner kick drifted toward young centre-back Alessio Romagnoli who glanced a header beyond Frey. It was the kid’s first start for Roma in Serie A, a night to savour. Romagnoli, bless him, couldn’t believe it. “Watch him,” wrote Tonino Cagnucci in Il Romanista. “He doesn’t celebrate immediately… He turns and then starts running towards Totti, almost out of recognition [for his part in the goal], almost to ask him if it really happened.”

Totti made his debut in Serie A on March 28, 1993. Romagnoli wasn’t even born then. If a life can be measured by Totti’s career, Romagnoli was born 223 league goals ago, four days after Totti scored his second goal in Serie A against Bari on January 8, 1994 to be precise.

Totti’s corner. Romagnoli’s header. One generation to another.

The result on Sunday was put beyond any doubt when Totti set up fellow World Cup-winning veteran, Simone Perrotta. Their third goal of the night made it three straight wins in Serie A. The Europa League places are now only four points away. All the talk on the night, however, was about Totti and Romagnoli. “It’s a unique evening,” Romagnoli cried, “an immense joy. I could never have imagined a first start like this. It’s a unique feeling. To play with Totti is too beautiful. He’s unique.”

There’s that word again: ‘Unique’. It has followed Totti around throughout his astonishing career. Not without ample justification. In the Curva Sud on Sunday night, another banner was held aloft. “Next Stop Piola,” it declared, referring of course to Silvio Piola, Serie A’s all-time top goalscorer. Few expect Totti to score the 50 goals required to break his record. One paper estimated that, at his current scoring rate, it would take him another 114 games to do it. Turning 37 this September, time is running out for Totti even if a two-year extension on his current contract, which ends in 2014, is said to be a formality.

Piola’s 274 goals in Serie A [290 if you include the 1945-46 season, the first campaign after the Second World War which many don’t count] came at five different clubs, including Roma’s rivals Lazio. Gunnar Nordahl’s 225 were also split between Milan and Roma. No one then has scored more goals for one club than Totti has in the history of Serie A. So in this sense and others, he really is, as Romagnoli says, unique.

Totti won’t content himself with that of course. Breaking Piola’s record is just one of the things, along with the prospect of maybe winning the Scudetto once more before he hangs up his boots, that keeps him going. “I’ll stop as soon as I overtake Piola,” he joked. Knowing Totti, he’ll probably be the one to have the last laugh.

© Eurosport

Totti: «Applausi alla Curva Sud»

Francesco Totti, due punti, aperte le virgolette: «Applaudo i tifosi della Curva Sud… Mi sono commosso a vedere Giorgio Rossi… Le passioni di quel Campo devono continuare a vivere». Punto. A capo ci vanno i commenti che sono facili: queste sono parole di un capitano della Roma. Perché la Roma ha avuto tanti capitani ma tutti grandi, veri, romanisti, romani: Ferraris IV, Bernardini, Amadei, Guarnacci, Di Bartolomei, Giannini, Totti… Tutti figli della stessa storia, tutti figli di Testaccio. Totti a Testaccio ci ha festeggiato (come trequarti di Roma) il terzo scudetto, Totti a Testaccio durante la Mostra per gli 80 anni della Roma vide una foto degli spalti di un derby al Flaminio la indicò e disse a un amico: «Lo vedi quel puntino ero io». Stava a tifare la Roma quand’era ragazzino contro la lazio.

Com’è giusto che sia, come storia, come tradizione, come un testaccino. Lo scandalo di Totti, lo scandalo che nessuno ha ancora colto appieno, è che Totti è tifoso della Roma ancora di più di quanto è forte (e d’altronde così forte, così sempre forte per vent’anni, tu non ci puoi essere se a quella “cosa” non dai tutto). Allora Totti ieri- mentre a Craven Cottage c’era uno striscione che si chiedeva dove fosse – ha rimesso i puntini sulla storia, esattamente due punti, aperte le virgolette: «Volevo applaudire i tifosi della Roma per l’iniziativa di Campo Testaccio, un gesto romanista, molto romanista per salvare la storia e le tradizioni e le passioni che sono state vissute da quel campo e che spero continueranno a vivere perché Roma e la Roma sono e saranno sempre realtà storiche e sportive uniche nel mondo. Mi sono commosso a vedere Giorgio sul campo… Lui e i tifosi della Curva Sud hanno dato l’esempio. Poi Giorgio, e lui lo sa, per me è sempre l’unico inimitabile Giorgio. Un pezzo di Roma, come Campo Testaccio». Punto. Come è lui. Totti e Testaccio c’hanno pure la stessa iniziale. Totti è un po’ come quel campo chemai nessuno ce passerà“. Non è mai passato Totti. Non s’è mai venduto apposta è stato invendibile, potrebbe giocare altri mille anni e magari lo farà. E no, in uno stadio Ethiad qualsiasi. Un giorno come domenica appoggiata alla rete ci sarà una bandiera di un Capitano della Roma che guarda il campo, mentre i suo itifosi lo ripuliscono, seminano futuro, e un massaggiatore, un uomo cogli anni giusti per definirlo semplicemente il più grande, che si commuove a pensare a quello che sta accadendo. E’ un futuro già accaduto domenica, è questa fantastica storia della Roma. Che Totti parli diTestaccio non è scontato, soprattutto in questi tempi dove qualsiasi retorica e qualsiasi “politically correct” hanno preso il sopravvento sui sentimenti. Se lo fa è perchéTotti, e questo molti lo devono ancora capire, c’ha tanta Roma dentro e in passato ha sofferto quando con quel pezzo diCurva non riusciva a dirsi le parole giustePoi un po’ tutti hanno capito che contano i fatti, i gesti, gliocchi: «Io applaudo la CurvaSud. Loro e Giorgio Rossi hanno dato l’esempio». Chiuse le virgolette, punto.