Francesco Totti says revenge is not the priority when Roma face Lazio in the Eternal City derby this weekend as he prepares to make a record 38th appearance in the fixture.
Lazio’s 1-0 victory in the final of the Coppa Italia in May earned them bragging rights over the summer, but Totti says that defeat is now water under the bridge and this latest derby, like the 174 before it, is all about present pride.
“We’re no longer thinking of the past,” Totti said. “What happened in May is behind us. We know it’s going to be a hard game, but we know the right way to face it. With this spirit, we can say a thing or two this season.”
Roma have been in fine form so far this season with three straight wins taking them into a share of top spot in Serie A with Napoli, although they are not going to rest on their laurels with coach Rudi Garcia asking for even more in the derby, and beyond.
“We still need to improve,” said the French coach. “But I like my squad, without even considering that we have the fortune of being able to rely on a great player like Totti.”
And the Giallorossi are likely to be able to count on the 36-year-old for a few more years yet as he prepares to put pen to paper on a new contract, an act which, according to La Repubblica, could be carried out in spectacular fashion prior to the derby, live on television.
Roma president James Pallotta is due in the Italian capital on Thursday to sign the paperwork which will tie the Capitano to the club until 2015, when he will assume a director’s role as part of an agreement he had already struck with the club’s former owners.