Francesco Totti who has incidentally got Gladiator tattooed on his right biceps, performed like a Gladiator to win the day for Roma against Torino.
It looked like a day for Torino after the 2-1 lead over Roma till late in the match, before Totti came off the bench to disturb their party.
The Roma stalwart scored a difficult equalizer seconds after coming in second half. He followed the goal with another one where he converted a penalty for the winner.
The day looked same as the match against Atalanta where also he came in a situation where Atalanta was leading 3-2 against Roma and scored the equalizer to fetch a 3-3 draw for his side on Sunday. He’s believed to have got into a verbal duel with coach Luciano Spalletti post the Sunday match and the match against Torino can create similar scenes.
After the match winning performance of his star player, even Spalletti had to acknowledge Totti’s enduring impact on the team.
“Totti did what I had also asked him to do in Bergamo (against Atalanta). He’s a huge resource for us,” Spalletti said.
“Handling him is difficult but with him on the pitch the other players are noticeably more motivated and the Olimpico becomes our stadium when he comes on,” he further added.
Approaching his 40th birthday, Totti showed his art when he scored the fastest goal by a subbed player in Serie A this season, requiring just 22 seconds.
Speaking further about him, Spalletti said,”When we’re in trouble, Totti is the best there is.”
Spalletti in a supposed post-match scolding from the coach on Sunday questioned Totti’s dedication, accusing him of staying up late to play cards before matches, while Totti defended the team. And that followed the discussion about effectiveness of the star striker. Totti’s contract with Roma is due to expire at the end of this season and he’s still to be handed over the extension.
Debate is also on about whether the coach Spalletti be removed for losing the players’ support.
Speaking further about the supposed rift, Spalletti said, “The problem is that between what a manager wants and Totti’s history lies a series of stories in which I always end up as the villain.”
Totti made his top-flight debut for Roma in 1993 and is in his 24th season with the club, embodying what Italians call a “bandiera,” an emblematic player who chooses to remain with one team. Born and raised in Rome, the charismatic player never showed any interests in playing for any other club.
His second goal off the penalty was his 303rd goal for the club in all competitions and his 247th goal in Serie A which is only second on an all time list of goals scored for the club, led by Silvio Piola who has 274 goals against his name.
Totti’s, with his latest showcase of football skills, clinched third place for Roma and a spot in the Champions League playoffs.
If reports are to be believed, Francesco Totti won’t be offered a new Roma contract, despite his heroics last night.