Francesco Totti will stay with AS Roma in a backroom role after his quarter of a century playing for the Serie A club. Totti said he hoped to make "a similar impact as I did on the pitch" in this "new chapter" in Rome.
AS Roma on Monday announced that club hero Francesco Totti would remain at the Stadio Olimpico in a new, directorial position.
Totti celebrated his last game for Roma on May 28, more than 24 years after his debut against Brescia in 1993.
"Yes, the first part is over, that of a player, and now begins another important assignment as a director, where hopefully I can have a similar impact as I did on the pitch," Totti said in an interview published by the club.
Despite the emotions of Totti's Roma farewell, speculation had persisted that he wasn't ready to hang up his boots just yet. Most recently, the 40-year-old had been linked with Japanese club Tokyo Verdy. However, Japanese media reported that Totti's celebrity spouse, Ilary Blasi, was not keen on the move. Other reports had linked him with a move to US Major League Soccer.
Totti made 786 appearance and scored 307 goals for Roma as a player. Perhaps surprisingly for such a Serie A mainstay, he never quite established himself as the same kind of force for the Italian national team.
Details on the nature of his new backroom role with Roma were scarce, with Totti saying that he wanted to be available to all, "from the youth sector to the President."
"Then it is normal that it will take a while - six months, a year, two years, I don't know - to truly find my real and best role," he said. "At this moment the details are not precise, I don't want to have a specific role - I want to be everything and nothing. I want to be an important person for Roma, and Roma really understand that's what I want to do."
Asked whether he'd be known by his surname - not the Francesco he prefers - in his new role, Totti said that nothing would change. When pressed as to what it says on his new executive's business card, he answered: "Francesco, AS Roma."