“In these few days, I read many things about me, beautiful, so beautiful. I cried so much, every day, alone, like crazy,” he confesses.
On the last ball kicked to the curve, he wrote: “I will miss you.” It is not clear whether he was referring to the ball or to the field, or the public. But it does not matter. Such a great feeling does not unravel in an instant.
Everything is as it should be. Not a speech by a superman but by a man, even self-deprecating, that in the mouths of others would have sounded pathetic or corny but not in his. “I want to dedicate this letter to all of you, to the children who cheered for me, those of yesterday who are now grown up and maybe have become fathers themselves. And to those who today may cry Totti-goal. I’d like to think that my career will become a fable for you to tell…”
And in fact, it is just a fairy tale. The Peter Pan footballer became man, “damn time” — he whispers into the microphone — “allow me a little fear. This time I need you and your warmth.” And then, the stadium explodes spontaneously shouting with one voice: “We will never leave you.”
Andreotti style, the Totti debate can be opened and closed with a tweet of romanissimo Johnny Palomba: “Totti wears out those who do not have it, those who did not have it and those who will not have it.” Everything else is feeling, heartbreak, passion. And class. Shyness. Happiness. Forever.
“Francesco Totti is and will be the best player I’ve seen in my life!” Diego Armando Maradona (May 21, 2017).
The “captain,” as all the fans call him, will no longer run under the southern curve. The legend fades into myth. It now lives in the YouTube recordings of the ‘90s and more recent ones, with tears in the stands after scoring goals in the derby match against Lazio and against Torino last year or the goal at 93′ this year against Sampdoria. In the ball, caressed in hundreds of blind assists. In those passes with his back to the goalie, which are his brand worldwide. A myth made of 307 goals in 786 appearances. All with the same jersey. Even Berlusconi, during his time as CEO of Milan A.C., threw in the towel: “Symbols cannot be bought.”
Totti wears out those who do not have it. But he also wears down those who have known him. Like “Future Captain” Daniele De Rossi, who recently released stunning interviews about himself and the Captain.
He has certainly worn Luciano Spalletti down, who at the end of a record-breaking season has apologized, admitting that he was wrong managing Totti but reminding — correctly — that the coach works for the team.