Rome: AS Roma's all-time appearance record holder and top scorer Francesco Totti is to call time on his 24-year career with the club and retire from soccer at the end of this season, the club's new sporting director Monchi said on Wednesday.
Totti, 40, has been at Roma since he was 13 and made his debut in 1993. He captained the team to the 2001 Serie A title and back-to-back Coppa Italia triumphs in 2007 and 2008. He is out of contract at the end of the season.
[blurb]"There is an agreement with the club that this will be his last year and then he will continue as a director. I want him on my side because he is Roma and can teach me what Roma is," Spaniard Monchi, who became the club's sporting director in April, told a news conference on Wednesday.[/blurb]
Totti, who also won the 2006 World Cup with Italy, has seen his playing time greatly diminish in the last two seasons, during which he has made just three Serie A starts. He was expected to retire last season until he signed a one-year extension.
Totti has made 15 substitutes' appearances this campaign and came on in Sunday's 3-1 defeat to local rivals Lazio in the Rome derby, which left Roma nine points adrift of Serie A leaders Juventus with four games remaining.
He scored his 307th goal for Roma in a Coppa Italia game against Cesena on Feb. 1.