Milan: Long-serving Roma captain Francesco Totti could retire at the end of the current season and is already considering his options elsewhere within football, his wife said on Monday.
Francesco Totti (Pic/Getty Images) and Ilary Blasi (Pic/AFP)
Totti has played all 22 seasons of his professional career with Roma but during a three-month injury lay-off the 39-year-old has had plenty of time to consider his future. For his wife Ilary Blasi, a presenter on a popular television show, Totti is already in his final season in Italy's top flight. "Retirement? We're there," Blasi said in an interview with Oggi magazine when asked when Totti would finally hang up his boots.
"Next year he will be 40 years old. Francesco has had a great career, to the extent that now he's thinking what else he wants to do. But he will stay within the sport."
The comments come two months after Totti, who is revered by Roma fans despite only steering them to one league title (2001) during his career, said he would play "until my body tells me to stop". So far this season, Totti has made only three league appearances and the thigh injury that kept him on the sidelines took far longer to heal than first anticipated. On his last appearance, Totti scored his 300th goal for Roma in a 2-2 draw with Sassuolo in late September.
With 244 goals in Serie A, he remains 30 short of Silvio Piola's all-time record of 274. Totti looks unlikely to come close to Piola's benchmark and the 'King of Rome' — as he is affectionately known by fans — could be deprived of the fairytale ending of another league title.
Runners-up the past two seasons to Juventus, Roma currently occupy fifth spot at four points behind leaders Inter Milan amid what is a surprisingly tight battle for this season's 'scudetto'. Roma are away to Chievo in their first game of the year on Wednesday, when Totti could return to the fray.