When Francesco Totti left his director post with the only club he'd ever known on June 17, 2019, Er Pupone didn't hold back. In a blistering hour-long press conference, Totti let all his Roma dirty laundry air, hitting out at Roma management for essentially making him a figure head, lying to the fans about the club's ambitions, and perhaps most inflammatory of all, removing all the Romans from Roma.
Ordinarily, we would have dismissed that last comment as pure emotion; after all, this was a man reeling from a feeling of betrayal and isolation from the club to which he'd just dedicated 30 years of his life. Pallotta was controversial, but surely he wouldn't strip the Roman soul from the Roman club, right?
When taken with Totti's own “retirement” from his playing days, the still gaping wound from Daniele De Rossi's “retirement” from Roma a month earlier, and the soon to follow banishment of Alessandro Florenzi, Totti's foreboding words began to carry weight in the hearts and minds of some Roma fans.
During his press conference, Totti hinted at takeover whispers and boldly claimed that he wouldn't return to the club until it was in different hands. And, lo and behold, here we are; Roma are days (if not hours) away from changing owners, with Dan Friedkin's group set to sign the contracts as soon as today.
We have no idea what to expect from the Friedkin Group's ownership of the club, but Roma fans the world over have been patiently sitting, waiting and wishing that a new ownership would absolve these cardinal sins, that their first public moves as Roma owners would be to welcome Totti and De Rossi back to the club.
While Friedkin hasn't yet taken control of the club, the seeds of a Roman renaissance are already being planted according to the Corriere dello Sport:
#Roma, il piano #DeRossi: a #Trigoria a settembre https://t.co/xaDMHQ1rcs— Corriere dello Sport (@CorSport) March 5, 2020
According to Roberto Maida of the CdS, Daniele De Rossi has spoken with Roma management, though not Friedkin himself, about returning to the club, taking the Primavera reins from his father Alberto, who will soon shift to a supervisory role, overseeing Roma's entire youth system alongside Morgan De Sanctis and Bruno Conti.
For DDR, this would be a logical step, as many eventual top flight managers got their start working in the youth sector, but don't be afraid to dream about De Rossi leading his former club at the highest level—we weren't.
The CdS also revealed an interesting nugget about Alberto De Rossi's career. It seems as though the elder De Rossi was asked to manage the senior squad twice, but politely refused so as not to potentially embarrass his son.
Alberto has been coaching with Roma for over 20 years, but my best guesses for an almost ADR-Roma would have been when Zeman was sacked in the spring of 2013 or when EDF eventually made way to Claudio Ranieri last spring.
We'll never know of course, but given the volume of his son's devotion to Roma, something tells me Daniele will set his sites on the top job sooner or later.
Paulo Fonseca is doing a fine job, but the life cycle of a football manager seldom extends beyond three to five years at any one club, so this could be the first step towards DDR towing the touchline at the Olimpico someday.
Either way, if this comes to fruition, we might seen Daniele De Rossi coaching Francesco Totti's son...which, wow...amazing.
These are the reasons we love Roma, so I'm fully on board with this. Make it happen, Mr. Friedkin!