The Italian Almanac
Totti and Roma Forever
Captain Francesco Totti announced that he has extended his contract with AS Roma by two years, taking it up until 2016. The former Italy forward's contract had been set to expire at the end of the season.
"I'm extremely happy to play two more years with the only shirt I love," said Totti, who turns 37 next week and has only ever played senior football for the team he supported as a child. It's two more years of responsibility. We'll do great things together. It's a dream, my never-ending dream, the dream of all Roman and all Roma-supporting children - to play for Roma, to be the captain, to wear this shirt, to keep doing so. Simply fantastic".
He made his senior debut for Roma aged 16 over 20 years ago and helped them win the league title in 2001 and the Italian Cup in 2007 and 2008, having spurning chances to join other clubs, including Real Madrid.
Totti, a member of the Azzurri's 2006 World Cup-winning team, thanked the club's American owners for giving him the chance to keep playing for the club he loves, contrasting it with the way Juventus dealt with Alessandro Del Piero. Del Piero, another outstanding forward who is in the latter stages of his career, moved to Sydney FC last year after the Turin club decided not to renew his contract following 19 seasons with them.
The renewal is not just at act of gratitude from Roma to arguably their all-time best player. Despite his age, Totti continues to consistently produce excellent performances. 'Totti and Roma for ever,'' said Chairman James Pallotta, a member of the Boston consortium that made Roma Serie A's first foreign-controlled club in 2011.