Rome (AFP) – Iconic Roma captain Francesco Totti has signed a new one-year contract to play a 25th season with the Serie A side, the club announced on Tuesday.

Totti, who turns 40 in September, began his Serie A career with Roma in 1993, playing 601 matches for the club — only surpassed in the Italian top flight by Paolo Maldini’s 647 with AC Milan and Javier Zanetti’s 615 for Inter Milan.

The veteran playmaker has had a tense relationship with coach Luciano Spalletti in recent times and speculation had been rife he could be forced out.

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