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Spalletti on Totti: “I don’t want him to retire while I am the coach”

That’s quite the bargaining strategy, Luciano.

Genoa CFC v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

While I’m sure every club has their fair share of drama every summer, as Roma fans we seem to take it to heart, where every move and every departure is an assault on our character and a threat to our very well being. We had to endure the Miralem Pjanic melodrama last summer, which somehow served as a platform to unfurl our collective insecurities upon the world, while this summer the cycle will surely repeat around Kostas Manolas and Radja Nainggolan. Point being, there are no clear cut decisions when you’re a Roma fan—it all matters, perhaps too much.

However, those are really trivial concerns compared to the future of Francesco Totti, and even Luciano Spalletti, who, in the wake of Spalletti’s latest press conference, are now intriguely and anxiously intertwined. Speaking to his captain’s future, Spalletti let his inner fan come out:

Don't ask me about how well my team is doing, ask me about Totti. It is only right that his contract is renewed. Totti doesn't have a contract with this club, he has a pact of love with this city, and this is something that has to continue.

I will go even further: if they send him away at the end of the season then I am not staying, not even if I win the Treble. I don't want him to retire while I am the coach

Now, do I think Spalletti will quit or turn down his own renewal if Totti is not back next season? Of course not, he’s got a good thing going here, one that would probably have bagged two titles were it not for Juventus’ historic run, but it is incredible to hear him make such a bold proclamation in Totti’s favor.

In essence, Spalletti has made public what we’ve all known in private for decades: Totti, and his relationship with this club, with the city and with the sport itself, is special. It’s a dynamic that transcends simple contracts and, well, even reason and rational thinking. Totti is AS Roma and arguably the most famous Roman of the past 2,000 years, so if that doesn’t earn you a lifetime contract, I’m not sure anything will.

For the most beloved coach in the club’s history to make that sentiment public speaks volumes about Totti’s current place in the club—he looms as large as ever.

So, for your own sake Mr. Pallotta, give Totti what he wants, what he deserves and what he’s earned.