Francesco Totti should think about retirement - Roma president Pallotta
Roma president James Pallotta has said Francesco Totti should seriously consider retiring once his contract expires in the summer.
Pallotta initially denied calling on the club captain to quit, telling Italy's Il Messaggero that he "never said those things about Totti," but a video of his appearance at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston has since been published that shows him strongly suggesting the former Italy international should end his playing career.
"We have a player who is arguably one of the greatest players ever in Italy, which is Francesco Totti," Pallotta said. "Francesco is 39 years old and while he has unbelievable talent and skills, it's obvious to him -- I think -- and to a lot of people that he can't play the same way.
"He just doesn't. His body does one thing while his mind says another. His contract's up this year and he wants another contract, and the pressure in Rome for me giving him another contract is incredible, but I've had many conversations with him and said, 'You're going to be with us for 30-plus years -- think about this and how you go out' and it's very difficult.
"I don't find it to be difficult, but it's difficult with the culture in Italy of how a player like that who has sold the most shirts for a long period of time, is the face of Roma, which will be with us in other roles for 30 years or 40 years, whatever, [retires]."
Totti's wife said in January that the forward was ready to retire this summer but the player himself complained about his lack of game time last month, telling Rai: "I can't stay at Roma like this. 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."
Pallotta, who paid Totti a visit on a recent trip to Rome, then indicated that he was happy give the player a new contract, but his remarks at the Boston conference suggest a renewal is unlikely.