Francesco Totti is all things Roma; the club’s best player, an icon, and a symbol of all that makes the club and the city special. So, on the few instances in which we have covered his son Cristian, we’ve towed a careful line; heaping too much attention or praise on him, given his age, relative inexperience and, of course, legacy with the club would be a recipe for disaster; that sort of greatness seldom passes from generation to generation. Cristian may follow in his father’s footsteps, or he may never make it above Serie B; we just don’t know.
What we do know, however, is that the kid has class. Dig this:
There he is, little Totti, giving a cogent interview in English, a feat his father never accomplished, and while that’s impressive in its own right, the story behind the interview is a remarkable testament to the kid’s character.
During the Madrid Football Cup, a tournament for U14 teams, Totti reportedly had a clear one-v-one on the keeper, during which his knee struck the keeper square on the head, temporarily knocking the keeper out of the play. With a clear path on goal, Totti, rather than tapping it home, stopped play to check on the keeper, later telling the reporter that it was more important to him that his opponent was okay than to score a goal.
While this isn’t earth shattering news, this was a remarkable display of sportsmanship, of ethics, of doing the right thing even though no one is really watching. I hope and I pray that Totti can carve out a career with Roma someday, but if nothing else, he seems destined to be a decent man.