Once Italy’s golden child of “calcio,” Francesco Totti terrorized the Serie A defense for over two decades.
But on Wednesday May 3, the 2006 World Cup winner and one-time Serie A champion announced that he would hang up his boots after the 2017 season.
Totti finished his career as the best player to sport an Associazione Sportiva Roma jersey.
Debuting for the club when he was only 16-years-old in 1992 as a substitute, he quickly won over the hearts of local fans for his pace, scoring ability and tactical awareness.
The Italian started off his career as a striker, but ended up picking up a dual role as goal-scorer and playmaker, eventually running the field in several attacking roles for the rest of his playing days.
His accuracy and vision spearheaded the Roma offense, and he eventually perfected his trademark chip shots over goalkeepers and into the back of the net, notably against Inter Milan’s Julio Cesar in 2006.
Before you know it, Totti became the club’s captain before the end of the millennium – the youngest captain in Serie A history at 22 years old.
And what a time to be alive.
During the mighty days of the Serie A in the 1990’s and mid-2000’s, Totti led his Roma side to its third Scudetto in team history – remarkably the only one of his career.
Francesco Totti’s Roma career:
1993: Makes debut
1998: Named captain
2001: Wins Serie A
2016: 250th Serie A goal
2017: Retires a legend 🙌 pic.twitter.com/dBy8toSskO
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 3, 2017
Totti also led the Romans to back-to-back Coppa Italia titles in 2007 and 2008, and won the Supercoppa Italia cup on two occasions in 2001 and 2007.
His longevity enabled him to play in one final Champions League campaign in the 2014/2015 season, becoming the oldest goalscorer in the competition’s history at 38 years old, netting against Manchester City in the group stage.
He played his final Derby della Capitale against Lazio on Sunday, April 30, a 3-1 loss at the Stadio Olimpico. Nevertheless, he is still the Rome derby’s top goalscorer with 11 goals throughout his career.
Though his final season in a Roma shirt was mainly reduced to the bench, his career speaks louder than a warm seat on the sidelines.
On the international level, Totti was part of the 2006 World Cup winning side, forming a playmaking tandem with international teammate Andrea Pirlo that defeated France in penalties in Berlin.
25 years. 783 club appearances. 307 goals. One team. One Francesco Totti.