Totti: ‘I rejected Real Madrid’

Francesco Totti reveals when he was tempted by Real Madrid and doesn’t regret dedicating his life to Roma, “but I did miss the Ballon d’Or.”

The Giallorossi legend hung up his boots last season and joined director of sport Monchi’s staff, extending his lifelong commitment to the club.

“The most concrete offer I had to leave Roma was Real Madrid in 2003-04,” he told Sky Sport Italia. You can read the rest of the interview here.

“I made a very precise decision: precluding the possibility of winning a great deal in order to stay with one jersey my whole life, which for me was the most important thing.

“At the end of the day, I had everything I wanted: love and passion were more important to me than winning trophies elsewhere. I gave 101 per cent for Roma, because I put Roma ahead of myself, personal issues and a private life. Roma was everything.

“The one thing I really did miss was the Ballon d’Or. Playing with Roma, I knew that I less chance than others who were at Real Madrid, Juventus or Milan. They had more international visibility, especially as you win the Ballon d’Or by winning the Champions League, World Cup or other important trophy.

“I still won the Scudetto, Italian Super Cup and Coppa Italia with Roma, but that didn’t put me in a position to challenge the other players.”

The transfer market has gone over the top in recent years, so how much would Totti have sold for?

“I’d have cost €200m,” smiled the 41-year-old. 

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