Roma idol Totti to end football career this summer

Indo Asian News Service

Rome, May 3 (IANS) AS Roma's long-serving captain Francesco Totti will quit football at the end of the season, the capital club's sporting director Monchi announced on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old iconic playmaker, who joined Roma's academy in 1989 and has remained with the capital outfit, is out of contract in the summer.

Monchi, who was appointed by Roma last week, clarified that Totti will end his 28-year playing career but he will be given a post of director.

Known for his high technical pedigree, vision and shooting skills, Totti is known as one of the best of his era.

"In terms of Totti, I already knew that there was an agreement with the club that this would be his final year as a player. Then he'd start as a director," Monchi was quoted as saying by in his maiden media briefing here.

"Francesco is Roma, I want to be as close to him as possible. I'd love to learn even one per cent of the huge amount that he knows."

With 616 Serie A appearances since 1993, Totti is the third-highest cap holder in Italy's top division. Totti, who has been captaining Roma since 1998, has played more than 750 times for his home-city club across all competitions.

The 2006 FIFA World Cup winner won one Serie A title (2000-01), apart from double Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana titles each. During his playing career, Roma have finished runners-up in the Serie A eight times.

Totti is the top goal-scorer amongst currently active players in the Serie A, and the second-highest scorer of all time in the Italian league history with 250 goals.

Monchi also talked about Totti's deputy, 33-year-old Daniele De Rossi, who has been playing for the club since 2001 and is out of contract at the end of the season. With reports emerging that the central midfielder is not happy with the new contract offered by Roma, several top European clubs have inquired from Roma about De Rossi. But Monchi made it clear that the Italy veteran is not going anywhere.

"The desires and the interests of the two parties are reciprocal, we want to continue together and we'd have to be particularly clumsy to not find an agreement," Monchi said. "He's a fantastic lad and we'll try to achieve this objective."