The King of Rome brought the curtain down on a legendary career today.
785 games, 307 goals, five major honours, 25 years, one club, one Francesco Totti. The one-time ballboy, who went on to become club captain and legend, signed off on his glittering Roma career today.
Not one of sentimentality though, head coach Luciano Spalletti refused to bow to pressure and start the talismanic 10.
Regardless, before the game even began, Totti completed a lap of honour at the Stadio Olympico, to a rapturous applause.
— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) May 28, 2017
The day had been dubbed ‘Totti Day’ by AS Roma, but Genoa had not been handed the script. 16-year-old Pietro Pellegri opened the scoring for the visitors, as if the gods themselves recognised there was a changing of the guard taking place.
Pellegri was barely born when Totti hoisted his one and only Serie A title over his head, back in 2001.
Roma drew level through top scorer Edin Dzeko shortly after.
‘El Capitano’ entered the fray ten minutes into the second half and looked to help the ‘Giallorossi claim a victory. Danielle De Rossi, Totti’s successor as the heartbeat of Roma, restored the lead on the 74th minute.
A howler from Wojciech Szczesny five minutes later seemed to have spoiled the party, but fittingly there was to be another twist in the tale.
A late Diego Perotti winner ensured Roma finished second in the league and saw the 40-year-old end his career with his boyhood club on a high.
Following the game there wasn’t a dry eye in site as the legend who made his first appearance for his hometown club all the way back in 1993 bid farewell for the final time.
I’ve shed so many tears on the departure of Totti. Imagine what’ll happen when Messi retires. THE KING OF ROME! pic.twitter.com/dnd3Wg4owj
— Don Andres (@GrindRole) May 28, 2017
Noel Ryan, Pundit Arena