Francesco Totti’s football career began in 1983, the year the Giallorossi won their second Scudetto, and at one of the clubs that combined to form AS Roma all those years ago, Fortitudo.

Totti would break every record in terms of goals, appearances, and sheer longevity in his 28 years at Roma, 25 of which he spent in the first-team squad.

But, hidden behind the statistics – which fail to do honour to Totti’s footballing ability – is the mystique of a genuinely exceptional player in AS Roma history!

Prior to joining AS Roma as a 13-year-old in 1989, a certain Francesco Totti had to go through a lengthy recruitment process.

After honing his skills at local clubs Fortitudo, SMIT Trastevere, and Lodigiani, Roma scouts Aldo Maldera and Gildo Giannini, the latter being the father of one of his idols, Roma icon Giuseppe Giannini, discovered him and recognised his immense promise.

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Lodigiani attracted proposals from AC Milan and Lazio just when Roma felt they had secured the indigenous prodigy.

The Rossoneri even made an offer of roughly 100 million lire, but after consulting with his mother, Fiorella, Totti made a simple decision, vehemently picking his beloved Roma.

Totti was a one-of-a-kind player, capable of combining intelligence, vision, technique, and agility to propel his prolific scoring record, prolonged top-level career, and – most importantly – his strong relationship with the club of his life. Roma.

His endurance and extended excellence have made him probably the most impactful player to ever play for Roma, with over 750 games and over 300 goals, the most of any Roma player in each category.

Furthermore, Totti’s 246 league goals place him second all-time in Serie A goalscoring, after only Silvio Piola’s 275. Totti’s record is made all the more astounding by the fact that he has never been a true striker.

Totti and Roma went together like caviar and champagne, and together they got to the end of one Serie A title, two Coppa Italia titles, and two Supercoppa Italiana titles.

A one company man, who has captained the team for nearly 20 years and is adored by the fans, he can unquestionably look back and be enormously pleased of his accomplishments.

When he originally signed for the club all those years ago, he couldn’t have anticipated in his wildest dreams what a great career he’d go on to have!

Totti in his own words:

“Winning one league title at Roma to me is worth winning 10 at Juventus or Real Madrid.”

“There is only one player who is doing things that I could never do – and that is Messi.”

“I grew up playing for Roma and I want to die playing for Roma.”

What others say:

Gianluigi Buffon: “Some of his goals against me were so wonderful that I would have been ruining a masterpiece had I managed to save them.”

Former Roma chairperson Rosella Sensi: “Totti is the greatest player ever to wear the Roma jersey.”

Michel Platini: “Totti is an artist of football, a true number 10, just like I was.”

Former Inter Milan forward Sandro Mazzola: “Totti is the god of football. I saw him play when he was 16 and he was a phenomenon, he knew to do everything: passes, shots, free-kicks, penalties.”

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