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Facing The Prospect of Francesco Totti's Eventual Retirement

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You may have noticed a distinct lack of Francesco Totti through the first two weeks, and while we're not quite there yet, we must ask, what will you do when he is gone? Will his reduced role in anyway change his legacy?

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By the very nature of who we are and what we do here at Chiesa Di Totti, we're inordinately concerned with the legacy of our namesake, Francesco Totti. How many among us became Roma fan simply because of him? Maybe you saw some grainy highlights in the middle of the night, maybe you read about him in some magazine that was well worn and wrinkled by the time it reached your hands, or maybe you're one of the fortunate few who was able to follow his career in person.

Whatever the case may be, for a sizeable portion of fans worldwide, Totti is the reason you're a Roma fan—you're a Giallorossi junkie and Totti was your first hit; there's no methadone for this addiction, I'm afraid. And save that one glorious season 14 years ago, it's been a rather depressing high—they've come tantalizingly close to recapturing that feeling only to come up short many, many, many times.

Despite the lack of glory, as Roma fans we could always hang our hats on one thing: we had Francesco Totti and you didn't. However, now that we've reached the twilight of his career, that affirmation is fraught with anxiety and fear, based not in a lack of faith in his skills, but a fear that he is no longer central to all that we hold so dear--that his epilogue will be penned by a foreign hand.

This brings us to our latest CDT Think Tank, which is really a series of questions revolving around that theme.

Through the first two weeks, Francesco's feet had been firmly planted on the bench, watching as Roma alternatively struggled and soared. If the Juventus match was any indication, the resurrection of Garcia's free flowing 4-3-3 centers around Edin Dzeko, Mohamed Salah and Iago Falque, and while we hope Totti finds a consistent role in that set up, it seems as though his time as unquestioned starter is done, leading us to question number one.

If Roma wins it all with Totti in a reduced role, how would you feel? Does that cheapen the experience? Does it in anyway taint all that he has sacrificed for the club over the past 20 years? Or is a Scudetto a Scudetto?

The second part follows from the first. Granted we're only two matches in, but given his reduced role, the possibility that Totti retires on anything but his own terms seems more real. How would you react? Would the elation of a Scudetto offset the fact that it wasn't 100% Totti inspired, or would you be satisfied with another second place finish if it meant Totti went out on his own terms? (this presumes they are mutually exclusive, which they very well may not be, this Roma can certainly win with Totti starting)

And lastly, what will you do once Francesco Totti is gone? Will your passion for the team fade, or has your love grown beyond Totti?

These are all important questions to ask, and ones that we'll probably face in the next year or so, the consequences of which may determine the ultimate legacy of Rudi Garcia and the American ownership, for better or worse.