Roma and Italian legend Francesco Totti recently sat down for an exclusive interview with The Guardian where he reflected on his impressive 25-year career.
Totti never left Roma, but he revealed if he had it would’ve only been to play for Real Madrid and get insight into footballing life outside of Serie A and the Italian peninsula.
“Of course I thought about it. Let’s say that there were quite a few days in which we had one foot in and one foot out. Then, I’ve said, often and truthfully, that the choice to stay with Roma was made from the heart. In those moments, when you feel like this, you can’t walk away.”
“But certainly, looking back, thinking about the fact of saying no to Real Madrid, a little bit of doubt does remain.”
“Real Madrid were the only other team that I could have gone to play for. The only team it could have been, I think. An experience in a different country could have been something beautiful for everyone. For my family. For me …”
“When you make a choice with your own head, that can never be a wrong choice. Don’t you think?”
Totti was rumored to be close to joining Real Madrid during the 2004-05 season. He also reportedly thought about leaving during the 2006 summer at the age of 30. Instead, he elected to stay at Roma and became one of the few footballing icons to play with just one club throughout his career.
The now 45-year-old went on to win five trophies with Roma. He was also a part of the Italian squad that won the 2006 World Cup in Berlin, which he considers a highlight of his career.
Despite never experiencing life away from Roma, Totti appears to be satisfied with the choices he made during his career and now during his retirement.
“You never truly want to stop. “Honestly, I didn’t take it well at the beginning. But, slowly slowly I have talked myself around to the idea that it was the right thing.”