The curtain came down twice at Rome’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday against Genoa; dramatically and full of emotion for the first exit, as Francesco Totti called time on his one true love. The second exit, barely even registered, like those scenes in a movie where the main love rival turns up too late, and the wedding is over, and is only greeted by the cleaner.
Luciano Spalletti’s second exit from Roma – the 58-year-old managed the Giallorossi between 2005 and 2009, twice winning the Coppa Italia – confirmed the end of a tense 16 months in charge:
“We would like to thank Spalletti for his hard work and his significant contribution since his return,”
“Under his stewardship this season, the team has won more Serie A points and scored more goals than any side in Roma’s history. We wish Luciano all the best for the future.
“This club is on a constant path of growth and that will continue with the appointment of a new coach who shares our values and philosophy and who will continue to help us take AS Roma forward.”
Roma President, Jim Pallotta
Totti’s Roma-ntic farewell, although surrounded in love, gratitude and emotion on Sunday, the build-up to the exit couldn’t have been any further away from what the Italian great would’ve wanted.
Continual clashes with Spalletti, over lack of playing time, and the now-departed manager’s belief that Totti could no longer offer what was required, saw unprecedented amount of time on the bench and made just one Serie A start this season.
“If I could go back in time, I would never have come to coach Roma,” said the 58-year-old, who also managed the Giallorossi between 2005 and 2009.
“When I bring him on for the last five minutes you say I’m making a fool of him and I lack respect. Let’s take the time to agree on what I should do.
“When I took over, I said that it’s not for me to manage Totti’s legacy.
“Next time, we’ll form a co-operative. We’ll have a collective vote and the ones who get the most votes will play.”
You have to wonder whether Totti has been pushed out of the Roma exit door, due to the lack of playing time under Spalletti, but with the former Zenit. St Petersburg manager now gone, are we set for a dramatic U-turn?
Given the moments of magic Totti has still conjured up this season, the Emperor of Rome’s work is not done.
Roma losing 2-1 at HT.
46' Totti subbed on
61' Totti assist, 2-2
93' Totti goal, 3-2
Legend. 👌 pic.twitter.com/5ygQE53bvU
— bet365 (@bet365) September 11, 2016
If only Totti had hired John Terry to organise his farewell.