By E.I Ihegwuruike
After three decades with the Giallorossi as a player and then a director, the ex-Italy international leaves having fallen out with the club’s owners.
Francesco Totti launched a scathing attack on the Roma hierarchy as he confirmed he has left his post as a club director, ending a 30-year association with the Serie A outfit.
Totti joined the Roma board after retiring as a player in 2017, but differences between the former attacker and the club’s board are said to have resulted in him leaving.
Tensions are said to have become particularly strained between Totti and club owner Jim Pallotta since March, when Monchi quit as sporting director and coach Eusebio Di Francesco was sacked.
Speculation went into overdrive after Totti failed to appear at Roma’s club meeting in London last week, where new coach Paulo Fonseca was presented, with Pallotta insisting the Azzurri icon was invited.
Pallotta was unsure why Totti decided against attending but insisted he would be given “time”, and now the two parties have separated.
He recently claimed Totti was offered the role of technical director. However, in an explosive news conference on Monday, Totti said: “I never had the chance to express myself. I was never involved in a genuine technical project.
“In the first year, that can happen. In the second, I realised what I wanted to do and we never got together, never helped each other.
“They knew my intentions and what I wanted, to give so much to this club and team, but they never wanted me to, in all honesty. They excluded me from every decision.
“I will now take other paths. At the moment another club owner wants to trust in me, I’ll always be ready.
“I am not here to point the blame towards one or the other. We had started a journey, it was not respected, so I am moving on.
“Everyone knows they made me stop playing. I had a six-year contract already as a director. I started quietly, realising it’s a completely different sphere to being on the field. Many promises were made and they were never kept.
“The main focus of certain people has been to remove Romans from Roma. Over the last eight years, since the Americans came in, they tried in every possible way to shove us to one side.
“As the years went on, they tried everything they could… It’s what they wanted and in the end, they succeeded.
“What I can say is that I will never hurt Roma. This is far worse than retiring as a player. Leaving Roma is like dying. I feel like it’d be better if I died.”
Totti spent the entirety of his professional career at Roma, making 786 appearances in all competitions, scoring 307 goals and winning one Serie A title in 2000-01.
He is both Roma’s all-time leading appearance maker and scorer, with most regarding him as the greatest player in the club’s history.
FROM THE TOWER OF TRUTH