- Category : Footballer
- Type : GP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (2,15,16,34,46,57)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Service 3
Francesco Totti, Ufficiale OMRI, (born 27 September 1976) is an Italian footballer who is the captain of Serie A club Roma. His primary position is that of a trequartista or supporting forward, though he has also been successfully utilized as a lone striker. Totti has spent his entire career at Roma, is the number-one goalscorer and the most capped player in the club's history. He is considered to be one of the greatest players of his generation, and also as Roma's greatest player ever. He holds the record for having won 11 Oscar del calcio AIC, including five Italian Footballer of the Year awards, two Serie A Footballer of the Year awards, two Serie A goal of the year awards, one Serie A Goalscorer of the Year award and one Serie A Young Footballer of the Year award.
A 2006 World Cup winner and Euro 2000 finalist, Totti was selected in the All-Star team for both tournaments. He has won many individual awards but the most important ones are the Golden Shoe and the Golden Foot. He was named in the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living footballers selected by Pelé as a part of FIFA's centenary celebrations. In 2011, Totti was recognized by IFFHS as the most popular footballer in Europe.
Often referred to as Il Bimbo d'Oro (The Golden Boy), Il Re di Roma (The King of Rome), Er Pupone (The Big Baby), and Il Gladiatore (The Gladiator) by the Italian sports media, Totti is currently the top active Serie A goalscorer and second all-time in league history with 237 goals.
Totti was born in Rome, to parents Lorenzo and Fiorella Totti. He was raised in Porta Metronia neighbourhood. He idolized ex-Roma captain Giuseppe Giannini and regularly played football with older boys. Totti began to play youth team football at the age of 8, with Fortitudo, then he joined Smit Trastevere and Lodigiani. After coming to the attention of scouts, his mother refused a lucrative offer from AC Milan to remain in his hometown, and he joined the Roma youth squad in 1989.
After three years on the youth team, Totti made his first appearance for Roma's senior side at the age of sixteen, when coach Vujadin Boškov let him play in the 2–0 away victory against Brescia on 28 March 1993. In the following season under Carlo Mazzone, Totti began to play more games and scored his first goal on 4 September 1994 in a 1–1 draw against Foggia. By 1995, Totti had become a regular in Roma's starting line-up and scored 16 goals in the next three seasons. He always publicly praised Mazzone for helping him become a good footballer. After Mazzone left Roma, Totti also worked with Carlos Bianchi and a short-spell with a club legendary coach Nils Liedholm.
Capello and the 2001 Scudetto
By the 2000–01 campaign, Roma, then helmed by Fabio Capello, was building a competitive team around Totti, who had started to play as trequartista to take advantage of his passing skills. In this season, making his debut at home against Bologna, Totti scored and brought the team to a 2-0 win. Another match to remember is that against Udinese, where Totti scored with a powerful left-footed volley. He confirmed his moment of form by scoring against Napoli at home, in a 3-0 victory. The Yellow-reds continued their march towards the Scudetto dragged by his captain, keeping reassuring advantages than their rivals. On 17 June 2001, in an Stadio Olimpico that records sold out, Roma beat 3-1 Parma thanks to goals by Totti, Montella and Batistuta, result with which Roma is crowned champion of Italy. On 19 August 2001 Totti won his first Supercoppa Italiana, scoring the definitive 3-0 against Fiorentina.
Totti was named the Italian Footballer of the Year for 2000 and 2001. He received his first Ballon d'Or nomination in 2000, finishing fourteenth in the voting and fifth the following year. He had also become a widely recognized idol of the supporters, who were able to identify with Totti's background as a lifelong Roma supporter and Rome native and also his prowess on the pitch.
In the following seasons, Totti played as second striker as part of a 3–5–2 formation and scored his first hat-trick in Serie A, which will serve to beat Brescia 3-2. Also, Totti put the signature decisive in the victory at the Bernabéu against Real Madrid (0-1), on 30 October 2002, after 35 years since the last success of an Italian team at Madrid. He is repeated against Valencia, where he realized two goals in the 3-0 final. Despite this, Roma ended in 3rd place in their group of Champions League and in eighth position in Serie A. In the Coppa Italia final against AC Milan, Totti scored three times on a free kick (one at home and two at the San Siro), but Roma lost 1-4 at home and drew 2-2 at San Siro. In 2003, still receives two more Oscars for best football AIC and how best Italian player ever.
in the 2003-04 season, Totti and his Roma were the protagonists of the run-up to AC Milan for the Scudetto, and then failed. Throughout the league he realized 20 goals, his personal record, (and later surpassed in the 2006-07 season) that allowed him to winning his 2nd Guerin d'Oro. In addition, the Roma's captain performed more times the goal to "spoon" (became one of his trademark).
Despite a disappointing 2004–05 season that saw Capello leave for Juventus and Roma slip to eighth place while making four coaching changes during the course of the season, including Cesare Prandelli, Rudi Völler, Luigi Delneri and Bruno Conti, Totti maintained his consistent offensive output by scoring fifteen goals, among them his 100th Serie A goal against Internazionale, on 3 October 2004, with a beautiful free kick from 30 meters. Two months later, on 19 December, he became Roma's all-time leading scorer after netting his 107th career goal against Parma, breaking the record previously held by Roberto Pruzzo.
As a striker with Spalletti
Roma's new coach for the 2005–06 season, Luciano Spalletti, went with a 4–2–3–1 formation. In this formation, Totti would not remain forward waiting for crosses or passes but instead go back to take the ball, thus creating space for the attacking midfielders. In this new position, Totti began to score more frequently than the past and scored 15 goals in 24 matches. At one point during this streak, the team won 11 consecutive games. In the spring of 2005 he renewed his contract until 2010 with an annual salary of € 5.4 million. In January 2006, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Pelé spent words of praise for Totti, defining him "the best player in the world". On 19 February 2006, he suffered a fracture of his left fibula and ligament damage during a match against Empoli after being fouled by Richard Vanigli. Totti risked missing the 2006 World Cup, but returned to the side on 11 May as a substitute in Roma's 3–1 Coppa Italia Final defeat to Internazionale. A metal plate had been attached to his ankle during surgery, but doctors decided not to operate again and remove it following Totti's return, after concurring that it would not affect his gameplay. He was given off-label treatments of teriparatide to speed his fracture recovery.
The 2006–07 season was a personal high for Totti, as he finished as Serie A's top scorer with 26 goals as Roma finished runners-up to Inter but exacted revenge on the Nerazzurri as they took home the 2007 Coppa Italia. Totti also was the recipient of the ESM European Golden Shoe award as the top European goalscorer. Despite being the highest active goalscorer in Serie A, he was not among the finalists for the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year due to his national team absence, though he was nominated for the 2007 Ballon d'Or, finishing tenth in the voting.
Totti scored his 200th goal with Roma in a 4–0 victory against Torino in Coppa Italia, on 16 January 2008. He was named the Italian Footballer of the Year for the fifth time in his career on 28 January. The following month, on 24 February he reached 386 appearances in Serie A with the Yellow-reds in the match against Fiorentina, equaling the record previously held by Giacomo Losi, Roma captain of the sixties. He managed to surpass the record, on 27 February, in the following match against Inter: Francesco Totti so became the player with most appearances in Serie A in the history of Roma. On 9 March, in Napoli-Roma (0-2), he collected the 500th overall presence with the shirt of Roma, among other things, signing the second goal on a penalty kick. He suffered a season-ending injury to his right knee during a 1–1 draw with Livorno on 19 April. Tests revealed a tear of his ACL that required surgery, making him miss four months. Roma won their ninth Coppa Italia with a 2–1 victory over Internazionale on 24 May. Though Totti did not play, he was still allowed to lift the cup as the team's captain. With this win, Totti became the most successful captain in team history. At that time, he has won five titles and ten runners-up medals.
In the 2008-2009 season Totti recovered readily from the previous injury, thus becoming protagonist in the derby (assist for the winning goal of Júlio Baptista), in the game against Lecce (assists for Vučinić and "spoon" that closed the match) and in the home game against Fiorentina (with a shot from the limit of the area ). In the Champions League, he scored against Cluj (on a free kick) and the second goal in a 2-0 win against Bordeaux. On 8 November 2008, in Bologna-Roma (1-1), he reached the 400 appearances in Serie A, scoring the goal of momentary advantage. On 19 April 2009, in Roma-Lecce (3-2), he scored his 175° goal, surpassing Amedeo Amadei and becoming the Roma's highest scorer of all time. In addition with this goal, Totti entered in the top 10 ranking of the markers of the Serie A.
Roma's difficult start to the 2008–09 season and continued struggles at the start of the 2009–10 season saw Spalletti resign after his four-year reign and be replaced by Claudio Ranieri. Totti performed well in the inaugural UEFA Europa League. He has since scored three hat-tricks, first in a 7–1 away win against Gent in the third qualifying round and then another with the same score against Košice at the Olimpico in the play-off round. He also scored 3 goals against Bari, after seven years from the last in the Serie A (against Brescia in the 2002-03 season) and upon his return from a month-long injury.
On 30 November 2009, Totti confirmed he had signed a new five-year playing contract which will see him with the club until 2014, after which he will become a club director for a further five years. The deal was made official by the Board of Directors on 16 December 2009. Roma offered a gross annual salary of €8.9M for 2009–10 and €8.6M in the next 4 seasons. He was the highest earning player of Roma in recent seasons until surpassed by Daniele De Rossi in 2012.
With a 24-match unbeaten run in Serie A, Roma became the only challengers to Inter in the last three rounds for the league title, ultimately finishing runners-up after the final fixture. Despite Totti's several injury problems, he surpassed legends such as Gabriel Batistuta, Giuseppe Signori, and Kurt Hamrin in the all-time league scoring records. Totti also played in the Coppa Italia Final against Inter on 5 May 2010 but received a red card in the closing minutes of the second half for kicking Mario Balotelli. Roma lost 0–1, failing to bring home their 10th Coppa Italia.
In the 2010–11 season, Roma continued their 'traditional' early struggles, partly blamed on Ranieri's failure to develop a consistent set of tactics, changing both formations and lineups after every week. Though on a personal level, Totti won the Golden Foot award, Ranieri's lack of faith in Totti meant that the captain would face more time on the substitute's bench in favour of Marco Borriello, Mirko Vučinić and Jérémy Menez. This limited playing time (including an 91st minute substitution against Sampdoria) resulted in only three league goals in 21 appearances. Following Roma's loss against Genoa on 20 February 2011, Ranieri resigned as manager of Roma and Totti saw his former teammate Vincenzo Montella appoint to caretaker coach.
Totti first came into international prominence while playing in UEFA youth tournaments. He scored in Italy’s 4–1 defeat by Spain in the final of the UEFA Under-18 Championship in July 1995. Totti won the UEFA Under-21 Championship in 1996, in the final match, he opened the scoring in a 1–1 draw against the Spanish before triumphing on penalties. After starring with the Azzurrini in Italy's Under-19 and Under-21 sides, Totti earned his first cap for Italy during a Euro 2000 qualifying victory against Switzerland on 10 October 1998.
Italy went to Euro 2000 with Totti in excellent form. He scored 2 goals during the tournament. The first goal came against co-host nation Belgium in the first round, the second against Romania in the quarter-finals. His confidently chipped penalty in the semi-final shootout victory over the Netherlands was named as one of the "magic moments" of the tournament. Though Italy lost to France in the final, Totti was named the man of the match and was selected for the 22-man Team of the Tournament.
2002 World Cup
After being handed the number 10 shirt and Italy's playmaking duties, much was expected of Totti in his début World Cup. However, disappointment followed at the 2002 World Cup, with Totti failing to make a significant impact and then being sent off during Italy's second-round loss to South Korea after being handed a controversial second yellow card by Byron Moreno for an alleged dive in the penalty area.i
Totti acquired a measure of infamy at Euro 2004 after he spat at Danish midfielder Christian Poulsen in a goalless draw on 14 June 2004. He was subsequently banned until the semifinals, but never made it back to action and finished the competition scoreless due to Italy's elimination in the first round.
2006 World Cup
Totti recovered in time to join the national team for their victorious 2006 World Cup campaign despite not having had much match practice during his three months on the sidelines recovering from injury. Marcello Lippi showed enormous faith in Totti, assuring him during his rehabilitation that his spot in the Azzurri World Cup team was secure and to focus on recuperating. This encouragement and show of faith fueled Totti's desire to work even harder to overcome what could have been a career-ending injury and make it to the World Cup against all odds (and much of the Italian media's opinion). Totti did recuperate in time and in fact played the entire time in Germany with metal plates in his ankle that had yet to be removed following the surgery. Nonetheless, he was a fixture in Marcello Lippi's side, playing in all of Italy's seven games. During the tournament he played along with Andrea Pirlo behind lone striker Luca Toni, forming a dangerous attacking-midfield pairing. Totti, along with his team mate Andrea Pirlo, finished the tournament with the most assists, and scored a goal via an injury time penalty in Italy's 1–0 round-of-16 win over Australia on 26 June. In recognition of a successful tournament, Totti was selected for the 23-man All-Star Team.
Totti intended to retire from the Azzurri after the end of the World Cup, but reneged on his decision and remained undecided on his future for over a year, not being called up in the meantime. He made his retirement official on 20 July 2007, at the beginning of the 2007–08 Serie A season, in order to focus solely on club play with Roma. Then-Italy coach, Roberto Donadoni attempted to get Totti to change his mind for the remaining Euro 2008 qualifiers but was not successful.
After the national team reunited with Marcello Lippi, Totti announced that he would play in the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa if he got called up. However, there was no official statement release from Totti or Lippi about a possible comeback. In the event, Totti was not named in the final squad, and Italy was subsequently eliminated, finishing last in their group, their worst ever group stage result in World Cup history. Diego Maradona and former national teammates Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon said one of the reasons for Italy's early exit is that the Azzurri lack creative players like Totti.
In March 2013, the current Italy coach, Cesare Prandelli stated that he would consider Totti's comeback for 2014 World Cup. In October 2013, Prandelli said: "Totti is in fantastic form. His condition right now does make you reflect. If the World Cup was around the corner, I would have no doubts and would absolutely call him up. But we will evaluate the player's condition one month prior to the World Cup." However, at the time of the choice of 23-man Italian squad for the World Cup, Italy coach excluded the striker of Roma, receiving numerous criticisms by the entire Italian football movement. Among these, also Cafu, a former Brazilian footballer of Roma and Milan, who he has revealed that he would have liked to see Totti competing for Italy at the World Cup in Brazil and that he prefers the Roma captain over Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Without Totti, Italy was eliminated in the first round for the second consecutive time after South Africa 2010, finishing third in his group.
Style of play
Throughout his long career at his hometown club, Roma, Totti has predominantly played in the role of the attacking-midfielder/playmaker or as second or deep-lying forward, behind the main striker; only in the later years of his Roma career was he mainly employed in the role of a main striker. Totti has also been employed as a winger under Zeman, and most notably as a false-9 under Spalletti and Garcia. While being an accurate finisher, he primarily serves as an assist-man and a creator of plays: his role has at times been described as that of a hardworking, generous, quick and dynamic centre forward. During his two-year period with Zdeněk Zeman, in the 1997-1998 season, Totti underwent an athletic development; in fact he decided to perform a muscle strengthening to adapt to the rhythms of 21st century football, gaining physical strength, stamina, fitness, and shooting power, to the detriment of some of his agility. His principal characteristics are his great creativity and vision of the game, his ball control and dribbling, his precise passing, and his powerful and accurate shooting. Totti is also an accurate penalty kick and set-piece taker. He is also able to consistently provide 'killer balls' to strikers, occasionally through his trademark use of the backheel. Totti has also performed the cucchiaio chip, which roughly translates to "spoon" in English, and has often used this gesture on penalties. His most famous lobbed goal, was probably the legendary one he scored against Inter, where he dribbled past Materazzi before chipping the ball over a hapless Julio Cesar. That particular goal was voted as the best goal in Serie A in the 2005-06 season. Another glorious goal using this technique, was his goal against Lazio in the Derby della Capitale, which ended 5-1 in favour of Roma. Because of his penchant for scoring goals using this particular gesture, the title of his 2006 autobiography Tutto Totti: Mo je faccio er cucchiaio (English: All about Totti: I'm gonna chip him now) references this technique, as well the statement made to his Italy team mates before his Euro 2000 semifinal shootout penalty against the Netherlands.
Totti is known for his exuberant and humorous goal celebration. His most famous celebration took place on 11 April 1999 in the second Derby della Capitale of the 1998–99 season, in which he scored during the final minutes of the game and celebrated by flashing a T-shirt under his jersey, which read "Vi ho purgato ancora" ("I've purged you guys again"), in reference to events at the previous derby against Lazio on 29 November 1998 when Totti helped Roma come back from 3–1 down with an assist to Eusebio Di Francesco for 3–2 and finally a goal of his own for 3–3. Another derby goal against Lazio saw him take over a sideline camera and aim it at the Roma fans.
Totti's displayed numerous message t-shirts under his jersey over the years, including two for his wife "6 Unica" ("You're the One") and "6 Sempre Unica" ("You're Still the One") and a political one "Liberate Giuliana" ("Free Giuliana") in honor of Giuliana Sgrena, an Italian journalist kidnapped in 2005 by insurgents in Iraq (later freed). The most recent shirt's message was "Scusate il Ritardo" ("Sorry for the delay") which he flashed on 8 January 2012 in an apology to fans for his goal-scoring drought after scoring his first goal of the season versus Chievo.
As a tribute to his then-pregnant wife, Ilary Blasi, Totti imitated a childbirth scene by stuffing the ball under his shirt and lying on his back while his teammates extracted the ball. His current ritual of sucking his thumb after a goal began after his son was born and subsequently after the birth of his daughter. Blasi has revealed that Totti sucks his thumb also dedicating his celebration to her, and not only for their children.
Totti's wife Ilary Blasi is a former showgirl who has been a co-host of Italia 1's hit show Le Iene since 2007. When the couple married on 19 June 2005 at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, their wedding was aired on television with proceeds being donated to charity. They had their first child, Cristian, on 6 November 2005. Their second child, a daughter named Chanel, was born on 13 May 2007. The couple has often been referred to as the "Italian Beckhams" and their private lives are often speculated upon in Italian magazines and tabloids.
Totti's brother Riccardo serves as his agent and manages many of his brand and business interests, under the name "Number Ten", including the Francesco Totti Academy, a football training school, and the Totti Soccer School, which is a soccer camp for children with disabilities. Totti also owns a motorcycle racing team called Totti Top Sport.
Totti became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF in 2003, and the FIFA/SOS Children's Villages in January 2006. As a fundraiser for a children's charity, he published two best selling, self-effacing joke books containing jokes the locals often told about him and his teammates. Some of the jokes were filmed in short sketches featuring himself with good friends and national teammates Alessandro Del Piero, Gianluigi Buffon, Christian Vieri, Antonio Cassano, Marco Delvecchio and Alessandro Nesta and former national team coach Giovanni Trapattoni in a short show called La sai l'ultima di Totti. On the 16th of January 2008 he appeared as “PaperTotti” in a famous Comic book. The proceeds of the subscriptions were given as a gift for charity. The Roma captain was the official testimonial of “Partita del Cuore”, charity match between singers and vips played on the 12th of May 2008 to promote a fund raising for the construction of the “Campus Produttivo della Legalità e della Solidarietà” (Productive Campus of Legality and Solidarity).
Television, cinema and publicity
In 2002, Gianni Agnelli, Fiat principal executive, who is a lifelong fan and the ex-president of Juventus, chose Totti to publicize the launch of the new Stilo instead of a Juventus player. In 2004 he was testimonial Nike and he is featured on the cover of Pro Evolution Soccer 4 along with Thierry Henry and Italian referee Pierluigi Collina. Between 2005 and 2008 his sponsors changed in Diadora and he became testimonial of Pepsi Twist, with a video filmed in the camps of Trigoria by director Gabriele Muccino. As of May 2006, he was the testimonial for a series of advertising spots for the telephone company Vodafone. On December 2006 Totti and his wife Ilary Blasi, lent their voices to an Italian dubbing of an episode of the television series The Simpsons entitled Marge and Homer Turn a Couple Play, in which Totti voiced Buck Mitchell. In 2007 he appeared in the movie L'allenatore nel Pallone 2 in the role of a defense attorney. Since 2008 he has participated many times in the television program C'è posta per te, in the second series of the Italian fiction Cesaroni, in the reality show Grande Fratello 8 and an episode of Paperissima. In September 2008 a collection of figurines dedicated to him came out at newsstands in the Lazio region entitled "Francesco Totti, the captain". In February 2010, Totti was named ambassador for online poker company Party Poker. In May 2010, he presented in Rome, with the actor Russell Crowe, the special edition of the film Gladiator, produced by Universal Pictures in honor of the football team AS Roma to celebrate the tenth year of the film's release. Since December 2013, after almost 10 years, he was again chosen as a testimonial for Nike for the duration of two years. In his honor were dedicated two murals, sponsored by nike, and situated in Rome.