Roma legend Francesco Totti has told GQ magazine he is terrified by the prospect of retiring.
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The 37-year-old still has two years left to go on his contract with Roma and he hopes to play in the club's new stadium, which is scheduled to open for the start of the 2016-17 season.
However, he knows he cannot carry on playing forever and admits he is scared by the prospect of having to one day hang up his boots.
"It's going to be terrifying," he said. "It will mean the end of a dream that I've been living for 20 years. I daren't even imagine the reaction of the fans. I know that the moment is getting closer."
Totti played his way into contention for a return to the Italy squad for the World Cup this summer, despite announcing his international retirement after the team's success in 2006.
With eight goals in 26 appearances for Roma this season, he showed he is not past his best yet, but he said he plans to walk away as soon as he feels he can no longer contribute.
"I will be the one who throws in the towel -- I don't want to go onto the field and make a fool of myself," Totti said. "I'm an emotional, passionate person and that's a strength, not a limitation. I play for the love of it, to enjoy myself and because I like it.
"I grew up with a football and I will die with one. It's always been a soft spot for me, but I'm happy with the way I am, and I hope that there will be something else for me in the future. I honestly haven't thought about how my last game will be. It's definitely going to be beautiful and emotional, and it will be played in front of the Roma fans."
Totti joined his hometown club in 1992 and has scored 235 goals in 561 Serie A games for the Giallorossi -- 39 short of Silvio Piola's all-time Serie A scoring record. He was capped 58 times by Italy.