Totti staying at Roma, club director says

Rome (AFP) – Iconic Roma captain Francesco Totti will stay at the capital outfit for a 24th season, the club’s general manager Mauro Baldissoni said in a television interview on Friday.

A one-club player with 600 league appearances, the veteran playmaker has had a tense relationship with coach Luciano Spalletti in recent times and speculation had been rife the player would be forced out.

“Francesco will continue to play at Roma and as you all know we want to keep him as part of the Roma family for a long time,” he said on the club’s in-house TV channel.

Totti’s hopes of earning a final year’s deal were boosted late in the season when he came off the bench to score late, crucial goals for Roma as they finished third in Serie A.

With some believing this could have been the 39-year-old’s final season in Italy’s top flight, for his 600th league game in early May fans flocked to the Stadio Olimpico with banners, t-shirts and flags all paying tribute to the longevity and loyalty of ‘Il Re de Roma’ (the King of Rome) and some declared they had grown up on ‘Bread and Totti’, as opposed to bread and water.

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