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Alex Ferguson speaks about failed attempt to sign Roma legend Francesco Totti

Ferguson Totti

“He was deeply attached to his city.”

Alex Ferguson has spoken about his failed attempt to lure Roma legend Francesco Totti to Manchester United.

Totti spent his entire career with Roma, making 786 appearances across 25 years, scoring 307 goals.

The Italian icon led the Giallorossi to Serie A success in 2001 and also played a key role in two Coppa Italia triumphs.

Ferguson Totti

Francesco Totti.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Goal), Ferguson explained how United’s move for Totti was effectively a non-starter given the player’s deep attachment to his club and city.

“We liked the player and we would have liked to include him in our plans, but when we expressed our interest, it immediately became clear that Totti didn’t want to leave Rome,” said Ferguson.

“He was deeply attached to his city. His CV is clear. Totti has only worn the Roma shirt.”

Ferguson Totti

Alex Ferguson recalls Roma thrashing

Ferguson was speaking ahead of United’s Europa League semi-final against Roma on Thursday.

It is the first time the clubs have met since the Red Devils knocked the Italians out en route to winning the 2008 Champions League.

The two clubs faced off six times in 12 months between 2007 and 2008 (four knockout games and two in the group stages). The most memorable encounter was United’s 7-1 demolition of Luciano Spalletti’s side at Old Trafford in April 2007.

With Roma having edged the quarter-final first leg 2-1, United produced a stunning display at Old Trafford to march into the last four in emphatic style.

“Each player proposed his best music and all together they composed a sublime symphony,” Ferguson said, recalling the landmark win.

“I immediately had the feeling that I was living one of those nights that rarely happens in the life of a coach.”

Ferguson also praised Spalletti after the Roma coach accepted an invitation to have a glass of wine in Ferguson’s office after the game.

“I was pleased that Spalletti accepted the invitation, despite the result and the elimination,” Ferguson said.

“He came to my office for our drink and the fact that he showed up, keeping his promise, was a demonstration of a strong personality.”

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