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Totti's amazing long career with Roma

ALL HAIL THE KING: 10 fascinating facts about Roma icon Francesco Totti

April 21, 2016 By Michelle Bonsu
The 39-year-old turned back the clock with another excellent performance for Roma on Tuesday, and we take a look back at Francesco Totti's amazing career so far.

For Roma fans, Francesco Totti is the symbol of the Giallorossi. For those who have enjoyed calcio over the past decade or so - regardless of whatever team they support - he is simply a footballing icon. At 39, Totti is known as Il Re di Roma (The King of Rome) and Il Gladiatore (the Gladiator) due to his life-long devotion to the Eternal City he has called home from the day he was born on September 27, 1976.

In an era that one-club men are becoming rarer and rarer, he is a unique exception as he has spent his entire professional career with the Lupi. Totti's first outing with the senior squad arrived on March 28, 1993, at the age of 16, when then-coach Vujadin Boškov brought him in as a sub during a 2–0 away victory against Brescia.

Throughout the years: Totti from a young lad to a seasoned professional in over two decades with Roma

His first full match was against Sampdoria about nine months later on December 16, 1993 during a Coppa Italia tie in which Roma were defeated on penalties. Not surprisingly, it did not take him long to net his first of what would be many, many more goals for the Giallorossi. On September 4, 1994 - a bit more than three weeks before his 18th birthday, Totti scored during a one-all draw with Foggia. 

Flash-forward six seasons later, and Totti had not just established himself as part of Roma's starting XI, but also was now a champion of Italy. Under the tutelage of Fabio Capello, the Lupi won their first Scudetto since the 1982/1983 season, with Totti chipping in with 16 goals and four assists.

Although he has not been able to win another Scudetto since, nor the Champions League with his beloved Roma, Totti nonetheless has earned the respect of those who play, watch, and write about the beautiful game. Earlier this week, he again turned back the clock with a fantastic performance against Torino that saw him net two goals to fire Roma to a 3-2 win.

It just so happened to be the second straight game that he scored a goal from the bench, and interestingly enough, Totti proved to be the difference for Roma. Against Atalanta, Roma were facing what would have been a deflating and shock loss until he grabbed a late equalizer. And as noted before, in the match versus the Granata this past Tuesday, the 39-year-old really showed the meaning of "impact sub" as he netted a brace in two minutes to seal a win - and keep the Giallorossi very much in the hunt for Champions League football.

He's been an icon for Roma for 24 seasons, and with reports that the club has not offered him a new contract, Totti could be unfortunately saying arrivederci to the Eternal City at the conclusion of this season. So, in tribute to this Italian football legend, we take a look at 10 interesting facts concerning his long career with the club he has called home for his entire career.

1. Youngest captain in Serie A history

No wonder he's called the "evergreen skipper": Francesco Totti has been captain of Roma since 1998. At the time he was handed the skipper's armband, he was 22 years and 34 days old, which made him the youngest ever captain in Italian football history - a record that still stands today.

2.  Most teams scored against in Serie A

To date, Totti has scored against 38 different Serie A sides. This ties him with retired legend Roberto Baggio, which will probably not surprise most calcio fans. Interestingly, another who also shares this impressive record is Alberto Gilardino, who has played for quite a few teams and is currently plying his trade with Palermo.

3. A personal milestone...despite his advancing years

Totti's brace against Torino on April 20th was the first time in his 24 seasons as a professional that he has netted two goals coming off the bench. And this is at the age of 39!

4. Most penalties scored in Serie A

Roma's most famous player also shares yet another record with Baggio. However, this is one he just may be able to set for himself. So far, Totti has scored 68 penalties in the Italian football top flight, and you can bet if the Giallorossi get a spot-kick between now and May - and he is on the pitch - he will be definitely stepping up to take it.

5. The "old man" still got it

As the saying goes, "age ain't nothing but a number". On October 25, 2014, less than a month after celebrating his 38th birthday, Totti scored a sublime free-kick against Russian side CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. As of now, he is the oldest ever player to score in the tournament's history.

6. Second in all-time top goal-scorers in Serie A history

With 247 goals as of April 20th, Roma's long-serving skipper is only second behind Silvo Piola, who netted 274 goals from 1929–1954. The next highest active goal-scorer is Antonio Di Natale, who has 208 and is currently playing for Udinese.

7. Third in all-time appearances in Serie A history

As of April 20th, Totti has made a total of 597 appearances in Italian football's top flight. This is only bettered by Paolo Maldini, who made 647 appearances between 1984 and 2009 and Javier Zanetti, who made 615 appearances between 1995 and 2014.

Interestingly, like Totti, both Maldini and Zanetti played all their Serie A football for one club: Maldini, of course featured for AC Milan, whilst Zanetti spent his entire career with Inter.

8. He's not the Derby della Capitale's all-time goal-scorer

Although he has made the most appearances, with 41 so far, Totti is actually the joint-top goal-scorer. He just one more goal to achieve that feat. Currently with 11 in Roma-Lazio clashes, the Giallorossi ace is tied with retired Brazilian forward Dino Da Costa, who played for the Lupi during late 1950's.

9. Totti...in a Lazio kit?! Apparently it almost happened...

Milan also expressed interest, but apparently Totti's mother turned them down. However, when he was a child, his then-youth team actually had an agreement in hand to sell him to Lazio, until a Giallorossi youth coach named Gildo Giannini convinced the Tottis to let their son sign up with the Lupi.

It might be hard for fans to imagine, but the man Serie A followers all associate with Roma could have actually have been featuring in a Biancocelesti kit instead had things taken a different turn.

10. He needs three more to...and more impressive records

Fans will be hoping that he will get a contract extension to stay in the Italian capital for one more season. Yes, he will be turning 40 in September, but he has shown that he can still contribute, even if not for a full 90 minutes.

Right now, Totti needs three more goals to make it 250 goals for Roma. Three more games will make it 600 for the Giallorossi in Serie A. Not surprisingly, he is also the all-time top goalscorer for Roma in the Champions League, with 17 goals and the Europa League, with 21 goals. Three additional games will make it 60 in the Champions League and a century overall in European competition.


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