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Roma need the Champions League

Roma
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Francesco Totti demands respect, says 'I can't stay at Roma like this'

Francesco Totti
Francesco Totti says he expects better treatment from his longtime club.

Veteran forward Francesco Totti has said "I can't stay at Roma like this" while feeling disrespected at the Italian club.

Totti, 39, came on as an extra attacker in the 87th minute of Roma's 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid this week in only his third appearance since September.

He has struggled to regain his place after missing three months with a thigh injury.

And after making 36 appearances last season, Totti says he deserves more from coach Luciano Spalletti and the club where he has played since 1992.

"I still feel like a player who is physically in good shape and I want to play," Totti told Rai. "The injury is behind me now and if I don't play it is purely down to a tactical decision.

"I can't stay at Roma like this. It hurts to be on the bench. I understand at my age that I play less, but ending my career like this is bad for me as a man and what I've given to Roma. I demand more respect for all I've done here.

"What is my rapport like with Spalletti? We say 'good morning' and 'good evening.' That's it. He said such nice things in the papers, but not to my face.

"I respect him as a coach and think he has what it takes to remain at Roma."

He added: "My contract expires in June, I await news from [club president James] Pallotta and will evaluate the situation.

"I expect the fairness of people telling me the reality of the situation and how things really are."

Meanwhile, Spalletti confirmed that midfielder Kevin Strootman will return to the Roma squad for Sunday's game against Palermo.

"Strootman will be back in the squad with us as of tomorrow," Spalletti told a news conference. "Kevin is training well and making good progress with his recovery."

Strootman's return comes after Daniele De Rossi was injured against Real Madrid.

"It's a shame we won't have Daniele and it's my fault for putting him on against Real," Spalletti said. "I have to take responsibility for that because I'm the one who makes the decisions in these cases."

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