It is hard to believe, but it’s been nearly two months since Francesco Totti “retired” from playing football, leaving the Stadio Olimpico an utter wreck after saying goodbye to the only fans and club he’s ever known. Perhaps we should thank the breakneck pace of this summer’s transfer market for distracting us, but bit by bit, little by little the realizing continues to sink in; there will be no Totti on the pitch when Roma opens the season in roughly six weeks.
Over the past two months we’ve fretted about Totti’s future: would he move to MLS? The NASL? Japan? Would he try out the Senior PGA? We simply had no idea, but any alternative seemed beneath him. He should still be wearing that shirt, those tiny shin pads and that number ten; this was the only reality we’ve known for so long and much like a kid confronting the truth about Santa Claus, we’ve turned a blind eye, refusing to face the truth.
Part of that refusal stemmed from the uncertainty surrounding his future. Who can forget the sight of Totti, tears streaming down his face, admitting to the 70,000 plus fans in the Olimpico that he was scared of the future? That he needed us. It was gut wrenching to watch, I can’t even imagine being on the other end of that.
And while Totti remained coy about his future, or simply was enjoying his time off, today he opened the next chapter of his life, of his career—he’s moving upstairs.
Continuate a chiamarmi Francesco. Come sempre. pic.twitter.com/yusuvaClXA— Francesco Totti (@Totti) July 17, 2017
As you can see, Totti has decided to accept a director’s role with Roma, working with Monchi and Eusebio Di Francesco to shape the future of his beloved club, though, as he admits, he’s going to have to take time to figure out the exact nature of that role.
Ultimately, that simple tweet brings an end to one of the more sickening chapters in club history, Totti’s forced “retirement.” If Totti takes to this role with aplomb, fully immersing himself into a previously foreign side of the game, would you really doubt his success?
It may not be the path he wanted, at least not this soon, but no one loves this club more than he does, so you can bet he’ll give it his all. Totti is simply trading in his shorts for a suit, his poise, grace and excellence continue to propel Roma to greater heights.
While he may no longer be on the pitch, we can still say with great pride...we have Francesco Totti and you don’t.