ROME, May 10 - AS Roma stalwart Francesco Totti declined on Wednesday to confirm he will retire at the end of the season, apparently contradicting comments made by the club’s sporting director Monchi last week.
Totti was asked by Italian media during an event in Rome to confirm that May 28 - the last day of the Serie A season - would be his last match. He simply replied: “I don’t know.”
Last week, Monchi had told reporters: “There is an agreement with the club that this will be his last year and then he will continue as a director. I want him on my side because he is Roma and can teach me what Roma is.”
Totti, 40, has been at Roma since he was 13, made his first-team debut in 1993 and became the club’s all-time appearance record holder and top scorer. He captained Roma to the 2001 Serie A title and back-to-back Coppa Italia triumphs in 2007 and 2008. He is out of contract at the end of the season.
Totti, who also won the 2006 World Cup with Italy, is in his 24th season at Roma but has been used sparingly by coach Luciano Spalletti, with his 15 Serie A appearances including just one start and two halftime introductions from the bench.
In most other games, he has been brought on less than 20 minutes from the end.
Spalletti, whose side are second in Serie A, was clearly exasperated at being asked to explain why he didn’t bring on Totti for a cameo during Sunday’s 4-1 win at AC Milan.
“If I could go back in time, I would never have come to coach Roma. When I took over, I said that it’s not for me to manage Totti’s legacy - I must manage Totti the footballer.”
Reporting by Brian Homewood; editing by Mark Heinrich