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Francesco Totti Goes In Two-Footed On Roma Owners As He Quits Director Role

Francesco Totti Goes In Two-Footed On Roma Owners As He Quits Director Role
By Kevin Beirne

Francesco Totti has launched a scathing attack on the owners of AS Roma as he announced his departure from the club after 30 years.

The former Italian international retired from playing two years ago but remained at Roma, serving as a technical director behind the scenes at the Serie A side after hanging up his boots.

But the 42-year-old has stepped down from his role, criticising the club's hierarchy for ignoring his input, with the decision to hand the vacant manager's job to former Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca ahead of Totti's former international teammate Gennaro Gattuso believed to be a particularly sore point.

According to the BBC, the Roma legend spoke to reporters for over an hour, saying:

"I resign as a Roma executive. I was hoping that this day never came, instead this ugly and heavy day has arrived.

"I never had the chance to work on the technical area with Roma... This is far worse than retiring as a player. Leaving Roma is like dying. I feel like it'd be better if I died."

Totti, who scored 307 goals in 785 games for the club, urged supporters to continue to back Roma as a club but called out co-owner and president James Pallotta as well as consultant Franco Baldini, saying:

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"This is a club to be loved and supported. There shouldn't be pro-Totti, pro-Pallotta or pro-Baldini factions. Just Roma fans. As I said, presidents pass, coaches pass, players pass, but the flags do not.

"They knew my intentions and what I wanted, to give so much to this club and team, but they never wanted me to, in all honesty. They excluded me from every decision."

Roma announced earlier this year that they would not be renewing the contract of Daniele de Rossi, who holds the second most appearances in club history, second only to Totti himself.

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And Totti believes that there has been a concerted effort from the likes of Pallotta to push out legends at the club, adding:

"The main focus of certain people has been to remove Romans from Roma. In the end, the truth came out, because they achieved what they wanted... If I was the president of Roma and had two icons like Totti and De Rossi, I'd put them in charge of everything... Pallotta surrounded himself with the wrong people and he only listens to them.

"Everyone makes mistakes, but if you make the same mistakes for eight years, you have to ask yourself some questions. Something clearly is going wrong."

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