Speaking at the launch of the limited edition Nike Tiempo Totti X Roma boots – which are some of the finest boots Nike have ever launched, it must be said…
The new Nike boots in tribute to Francesco Totti's 25 years at the club.
Emperor. 👑🇮🇹😍 pic.twitter.com/RlEnLWuk49
— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) April 25, 2017
…the ’emperor’ revealed that the former Liverpool centre-midfielder is a “champion” and “an example” to the children out there dreaming of becoming professional footballers.
Totti’s choosing of the former England captain, no doubt has something to do with trying to justify his decision to remain in Rome his whole career, despite having Europe’s finest from Real Madrid to Manchester United trying desperately to break Totti’s bond with Roma.
“Rome is the most beautiful city in the world. It’s always ready to surprise you with a tiny street, a corner, a detail. As a Roman and a Rome supporter, it’s been an honour to build my career here.
“Of course, I could have won more trophies somewhere else, but my biggest trophy is my loyalty to Rome.”
Gerrard is lauded for never leaving Anfield for a bigger club, and often dubbed the finest Premier League footballer to never win the biggest trophy is English football. However, given the fact he openly tried to move to Chelsea – twice – but ended up changing his mind after receiving death threats, cannot be forgotten (no matter how much Reds try to act like that never happened).
Are we right to celebrate loyalty in football, purely because it’s such a rare commodity in today’s game? Or should we be asking why Steven Gerrard is happy to tell his eight-year-old self that he never won the Premier League?
Whisper it quietly, but Totti either didn’t have the confidence to leave Roma or, at the very least, he thought when he won his only Serie A title in 2001, that he was at a club of true champions.