Francesco Totti: Life of the gladiator in 50 rare pictures
As the Roman prince hung up his boot forever, we present a stunning collection of 50 rare photographs that defines his vibrant Calcio career.
Rome have seen the rise of one of the greatest empires in human history, standing tall for more than a millennium. Over 500 years later since the fall of Constantinople, the city of Rome witnessed a young 16 year old boy making his debut for the city’s most favorite football club – Associazione Sportiva Roma in 1993. Two decades later, the boy turned himself into Il Re di Roma (The King of Rome). Welcome to modern day soccer where footballers prefer to run after glory and money – only a few make exceptions, who like to stay loyal to the club and their fans despite having abundance of ludicrous opportunities. Francesco Totti is from that rarest breed of footballers who never left the ship that taught him to sail. As in his own words -“Winning one league title at Roma to me is worth winning 10 at Juventus or Real Madrid.”
In 2001 when Roma won their first title in last two decades, Totti was already a superstar of Italian football. There was a myth, that there are no Italian in the country who don’t know about Totti’s food habits, such was his popularity. In 2002, when he went to debut in the World Cup under Giovanni Trapattoni, he was handed over the precious number 10 jersey to lead the Azzuri attack. But success came in 2006, when Italy became the world champions after 24 years wait, and an injured Totti made some significant contribution to team’s dream campaign.
But more than a world champion, Totti will always be remembered for his contribution to Giallorossi , the club became champions of Italy once and finished second for 8 times during Totti’s reign. Diego Maradona rightly said once – “Totti is the world’s number one. He represents Italian football and the Italian fans will have fun with him.” Roma fans believe Totti can do miracles and they are not absolutely wrong. In 2016, 39 year old Totti, came as a substitute when Torino was leading 2-1 after 80 minutes, and scored two goals to give Roma an incredible victory. But that was not the only occasion where he uplifted the game, there are many more incidents, such as the incredible comeback in Derby della Capitale when Totti scored a brace to draw the match after going down 0-2. He always gave the Stadio Olimpico crowd a reason to smile.
The fans will not cry anymore in happiness when their Capitano will score. Those shoes will never be filled again. The legacy ends on sweeter note with Roma qualifying for the elite European championship again. As Totti said,”I grew up playing for Roma and I want to die playing for Roma.”, he hung up his boots forever with his head held high.
Here is a walk down the memory lane with one and only Francesco Totti, revisiting the memories from the eternal city of Rome with these 50 beautiful photographs which you would cherish.