Stop me if you've heard this one before, but it appears as though our long international nightmare is over. The Corriere dello Sport has dropped the dime on the situation, reporting that Francesco Totti will sign a new contract with Roma, which will likely be announced after the season's final match. This, it would appear, would close the door on one of the strangest and most dramatic chapters in Roma history.
As far as the particulars are concerned, CdS reports that Totti will sign a one-year playing contract, reportedly for as little as €1 million. Following his retirement tour, Totti's new contract will then morph into a six-year deal as a club director, as nebulous a title as you're likely to see. Now, there are no quotes from anyone of note in the story, so take it as you will, but it does seem like a logical extension of everything we've read and reported over the past month or so.
While the reported wage discrepancies have apparently been resolved, there do appear to be some lingering concerns about Totti's image rights, a problem to which many of us can relate, right? Although it may seem like a minor concern, when you stop and think about what's a stake here, you can sort of understand why both parties are being exceedingly cautious.
This is, quite literally, unprecedented in the club's history, if not the league. I can already tell you for certain that I'm going to buy all three shirts next season with Totti emblazoned on the back, but just imagine the marketing possibilities here: shirts, posters, hats, commemorative toothbrushes, official match-used combs, Totti themed adult diapers...the possibilities are endless. Point being, with so much history and so much money at stake, Totti's image rights are no trifling manner.
Once again, we'll delve into this once it becomes official, but hats off to Totti for keeping his cool throughout this whole ordeal and kudos to the management for finally pulling their heads out of their collective asses--we'll never truly know how close they were to giving Totti the proverbial axe, but in all seriousness, let's be thankful that cooler heads prevailed on both sides of the equation.
Totti is set to make his 600th Serie A appearance Sunday against Chievo, and while Paolo Maldini (appearances) and Silvio Piola's records (goals) are probably out of reach, you'll get no argument out of me: Totti is the greatest Italian to ever play the game.
So, whether Roma wins the Scudetto or gets relegated next year, be sure to enjoy every touch, every toe flick, every switch of play and every thumb sucking celebration.
Totti's aren't born everyday, and we'll get one more year to bask in that realization.