She of great WAGdom fame (also, the original offside WOTW - what an honor) has let us in on the future plans of her hubby, Il Capitano, and the Roman faithful should listen, because she gives us a little hint as to how long he plans on gracing us with his presence:
"We do get to spend time together as he almost always trains in the morning so he gets the afternoon with the family," Ilary Blasi told Italian gossip magazine Grazia.
"However, what we do miss is the time to take a break, to get away for a weekend even if that will be possible when he stops playing, probably at the age of 35."
"I think he will remain in some capacity at Roma, but he tells me that he wouldn’t become a Coach," she noted.
The first part has become quite obvious to us over the past couple years. From everything we have seen, Francesco appears to be the consummate father, and his family is the most important thing in his life.
The last part we also knew, Francesco has already made it clear that he's gunning for Bruno Conti's job and there's not a damn thing BC can do about it.
The middle part kinda maybe sorta answers a question we've all been wondering for some time now. How long do we have? How long do we have the gift of this generation's most gifted Italian player? For Roma fans it's the Giallorossi equivalent of "How long do I have, doc?". It's there, we don't want to face it, but we have to. Totti will, gasp, retire at some point, and life must go on. Now it's just a matter of when.
Francesco's 35th birthday comes in the first month of the 2011-12 season, which makes it a minimum of 4 years left, and possibly 5. Now, I don't think this number is set in stone, but if anyone has a good enough guess, I would guess Ilary is tied for second behind Francesco with his brother, Riccardo. I think everyone also anticipates if his form dictates such, he'll make an Azzurri return in South Africa before finitely riding off into the international sunset.
So, 4-5 years left of Him. Luckily enough, the Roman torch will be passed and passed more than adequately to Daniele De Rossi and Alberto Aquilani. Until then, it's time to savor every goal, pass, back heel, flick, move and minute he spends on the pitch in the Roma jersey. All good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, so must all utterly great things.
And I also politely request that he grows his hair out once more before his career ends.
A look back...
* - The funny part of all this is I had begun a post discussing what happens post-Totti for the international break that I figured I'd unleash during one of the dead days next week when we're trying to forget how badly Donadoni needs to be sacked. Guess it's on everybody's mind.
News, Notes, Nuggets & Nonsense
I) It's hard to blame Valeri Bojinov for wanting to forget his Prem experience already. England didn't exactly make a good first impression on him, putting his knee through the proverbial meat grinder about 17 seconds into his Man City debut. Now he's saying his goal is still to return to Serie A (a common theme amongst Man City strikers these days - Rolando Bianchi has done the same), with his first choice none other than the big, bad Roman lupi.
"If l miss Firenze? I don't miss only Florence, but Italy. I would like to play for Roma, it is a great team, has a good play and great trainer, who wouldn't like to play in this kind of team?"
Knowing the rumor sharks circulating around his name this summer, one must wonder if he's calling out Roma to come and get him, knowing of past interest, because he's not exactly enjoying his time in the rainy Prem - bloody awesome Earl Grey or not. Of course plenty of players have called out to come play for the new big boy on the Italian block, so it could be just that, but who knows. Maybe his desire to play for the team would be enough in the upcoming years for the management to see it as the perfect answer to his supposed attitude problems and bring one of the most talented striker prospects in Europe to Rome. Or, could just be a day dream.
II) I feel like this is mid-July all over again - minus the Chivugate insanity. Not made up rumor of the day #2: Roma is supposedly after Icelandic defender Ragnar Sigurðsson of IFK Göteborg in Sweden, to the point where they've had scouts attending his games. Of course, add in the requisite Prem teams with the big pocketbooks to the list of hot and heavy suitors, but you get the picture. Apparently he's quite promising.
Anyway, here's what I know about him: He's a 21 year old Icelandic central defender who plays for IFK Göteborg in Sweden. See that right there? It's that type of expertise that allows me to command the big bucks.
But as you know, I need no excuse to dive head first into Swedish websites. So rest assured, I'll be all over this one like Juve fans on "DP's loin nectar" (shockingly, that group does not include Roberto Donadoni).
III) This is the quote of the decade, from some new reality dating show on US TV: "I've never been with an Asian chick before, but I love Chinese food."
Just thought I needed to share that with you.
IV) Our favorite human pin ball, Simone Perrotta, should be around to play in the Napoli game. Regardless of missed sitters this season thus far, I was hoping he'd miss it and Matteo Brighi would get a run against the team which had super glued themselves to his nut hammock this summer. Kind of like taking your new smoking hot girlfriend to meet the girl who has had a crush on you for the longest time, just so she can now hate you and to kind of give her closure - letting her down in the best possible way. (Because they're nice guys like that.) Just don't sleep with her only to never call her back THEN introduce her to your new girlfriend. That's an Inter move. With a non-Italian girlfriend, of course.
V) Our favorite Lilliputian, Bruno Conti (one of my favorite quotes of the season was BC saying they bought Lulu Gulu so he could make Bruno look taller), has big praise for Vitorino Antunes - that Portuguese guy who actually still plays for the team.
“I advise everyone though to keep an eye on Antunes. He will give us great satisfaction. He has a left-foot which is impossible to describe. He can put the ball anywhere with it.”
Good news. Now, if we could see that left foot outside of Trigoria that'd be fantastic.
(Anybody else recall TGIP saying Antunes was a management buy, not his? Methinks BC had a hand in that, and Antunes may play - or not play - accordingly.)
VI) A Roman youth product on loan/co-ownership saying he dreams of wearing the shirt someday? No, you don't say! Daniele Galloppa has said the requisite wonderful things. That, should he progress accordingly, according to BC, he may be back with the big boys soon, and how dreamy that would be. Cupcakes and butterflied galore. Group hug. Anyways, two eye raising quotes:
i) "Considero Emerson, nella sua esperienza giallorossa, il centrocampista più forte che abbia mai visto." I'm pretty sure the last way you want to endear yourself to the Giallorossi faithful is to admire Emerson, even if it's just on the field. He's a dickhead. The end.
ii) "Per il prossimo Siena-Inter o Siena-Juve cercherò di fare un favore alla Roma". Now that is exactly how you endear yourself to the Giallorossi faithful. Aspiring to do a favor for Roma against Inter or The Cheaters this year.
I love this kid.
VII) Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?
I could see maybe if the list was 3 deep. 5 I'd really question. 10 I'd be a little upset about. 20 would be utter bullshit. But 30? Fucking 30? Francesco Totti was not one of the 30 best players in the world last year? Winning the golden boot and leading Serie A in assists wasn't enough, amongst other, team accomplishments? So Patrick Vieiera was better last season? Who really votes for this thing? Lazio fans? Down Syndrome baboons? Oops, sorry, a bit redundant. It just goes to show you, you don't need to even feign intelligence to be involved in the game. In fact, you can be a fucking muppet and still be allowed onto the national pitch or sidelines - though this is more emphasis on a known point than a revolutionary discovery.
In the end, the embarrassment resides with the voters, certainly not Francesco, who should actually be taking home this trophy and throwing it in the trash as soon as he gets in the door. As evidenced by this list, that is how much value this trophy holds. Value which, while minuscule, is still vastly greater than the value we should give to the opinions of those voting for this list.
* - One of the first decent articles from goal.com I've seen yet: "Is The FIFA World Player Of The Year Award A Worthless Trophy?" Yes. Yes, it is.