Playing a part in helping Roma finish second once again in a Serie A season, Francesco Totti made his final appearance for AS Roma, the only club he has ever played for. Whether his tearful farewell to the club was also his final football match remains to be seen, but even without playing another one, he left quite a mark on the club, the city football in the country in general.
Totti made his debut for Roma when he was still only 16, back in March 28, 1993, in an away win against Brescia. Over 24 years later, and the players 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) over the years, retired. There have been 14 prime ministers in Italy during that time (which says something about the nation’s political stability), and 19 different manager stints at the club. His last match for the club came on May 28, 2017.
Despite being the biggest club in the nation’s capital, Roma have won just three league titles. One of them, in 2001, came with Totti entering his prime, scoring a career high 13 league goals, including one against Parma in the championship match. He also helped Roma win two Coppa Italia trophies back-to-back, in 2007 and 2008, also scoring a goal in the first leg of the 2007 Coppa Italia final, the last time the Italian Cup was played as a two-leg contest. This season, Roma finished second in the Series for the 9th time during Totti’s time at the club, the best period of football for I Giallorossi, but also suggesting just how much more decorated he could have been, and it wouldn’t have taken much.
Totti was the top scorer in Italy in 2007, and also the Golden Shoe winner in Europe for his 26 league goals. He won the Guerin d’Oro twice in his career (1998, 2004), the Serie A footballer of the year in 2000 and 2003, the Serie A Italian footballer of the year 5 times (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007) and led the league in assists in 1999, 2007 and 2014.
Totti played 619 league matches for Roma, scoring 250 goals. In all competitions, he finished with 307 goals in 786 appearances. All are records, probably unbreakable, at Roma: The closest player to him in terms of appearances is Daniele De Rossi who is 33, and has over 220 to go. In terms of goals, the closest player to him is Roberto Pruzzo with 138 goals for the club, the last of ’em in 1988. Totti became something of a scorer from the mid 00’s, finishing in double digit scoring in league play from 2003 to 2011 without a break. His 250 league goals is 2nd all-time in Serie A (24 goals behind Silvio Piola). His 619 appearances are tied with Gianluigi Buffon, who’ll go past him next season. On top, perhaps not for long, is Paolo Maldini with 647. While never really leaving a mark in continental competitions, Totti scored 11 goals for Roma in the 2009-2010 season during their Europa League run, which ended in the Round of 32.
Whether he won enough with Roma or not, Totti was an integral part of the 2006 World Cup campaign for Italy, which ended in a penalty shootout win over France in the final. Totti scored one goal in that World Cup, a big one over Australia, coming in the 5th minute of injury time from the penalty spot. He never played for the national team after 2006, finishing his career for the Squadra Azzurra with 9 goals in 58 caps, taking part in Euros 2000 & 2004, as well as the 2002 & 2006 World Cups.