Speechless. I am completely and utterly without words. Francesco Totti has played god knows how many minutes for Roma, delighting millions with his goals, his deft touch and his unparalleled feel for the game, but in a matter of maybe 90 seconds, he eclipsed them all--levelling today's match mere seconds after coming on the 86th minute then burying a penalty kick three minutes to later to seal three points and possibly Roma's European fate next season.
Look, other things happened in this match, lots of them--Torino was awarded and converted a dodgy penalty, Kostas Manolas leveled the match at 1-1 with a gorgeous header in the 65th minute--but years from now when you take your hover-car to see you grandkids and tell them the tale of Totti, despite the World Cup, despite the cracking goals, the cheeky celebrations, despite it all, these two goals, these 90s seconds, will speak loudest.
Down 2-1 with roughly four minutes to play, it looked as if Roma, despite their torrid run through 2016, was about to capitulate their Champions League future to hated Inter Milan. So, with nothing to lose and seemingly out of ideas, Spalletti turned to Francesco Totti. And while Spalletti's decision was probably more of a ‘fuck it, why not?' move than a calculated tactical decision, Totti delivered as only he can, bailing out Spalletti and Roma for the third successive week.
Warning, what you're about to see has not and probably will not ever happen again.
Francesco Totti: 86th Minute
Honestly, if this was written into a Hollywood script, it would have been greeted with a chorus of groans and eye rolls. Given everything that's going on with Totti and the management now, given how the rest of the team was playing, and given everything that was at stake, this all seemed too perfect.
There was simply no way this would or could ever happen--The aging icon pulled off the bench with minutes to play and the match on the line? Come on, that's some Mighty Ducks shit right there, but that's just what Francesco Totti does, makes the impossible happen.
With 85 minutes of rust on his legs, Totti scored an absolutely incredible goal, stretching out his foot and toe poking the ball past the Torino keeper, then immediately charging towards the stands. And all this after being on the pitch for all of 22 seconds, and at 39-years-old no less.
Storybook doesn't even begin to describe this moment, but then, as only he can, Totti topped it...
Francesco Totti: 89th Minute
After finally drawing a penalty on Torino for a handball in the box, Totti cast all doubt aside as he stepped up to the spot, putting Miralem Pjanic and whoever else dared to take this kick in their place. From there, Totti did what he always does, buried it low and away.
What happened after that was pure pandemonium. The crowd went wild, Totti was mobbed by his teammates, grown men reduced to tears:
I like to think I can sum most things up in a pretty tidy and succinct manner, but I'm not even going to attempt this one. This literally might be Totti's finest moment in a Roma shirt. For 23 years now we've been able to say this...We have Francesco Totti, and you don't.
And today, more than ever before, that's all that mattered.