reer It's been coming for a while now, but finally, FINALLY, Francesco Totti has decided to hang up his boots. New Roma sporting director Monchi confirmed the news on Wednesday at his unveiling, and revealed that - as you probably would have expected - the Italian legend was stepping into a role upstairs with the club he's represented since childhood. It's been a long old innings for the great man. It's an emotional time for all who grew up watching and admiring this man's talents - including...
Francesco Totti made his AS Roma debut in March 1993, at the age of 16. He'd spent three years in the club's youth team prior to that, and was brought on during the club's 2-0 victory at Brescia.
His first goal for the club came in September 1994, and he's never looked back. To date, Totti has scored 250 for Roma - more than any Serie A player in history has managed for a single club - and has notched in every season since.
Totti's best goalscoring year came in 2006/07.
So, get this. Totti was officially made Roma captain on October 31, 1998, shortly after he was handed the now iconic number 10 jersey.
That's a long bloody time to captain your club. And it's made even more remarkable when you consider Monaco hotshot Kylian Mbappe wasn't even born until December 20 later that year.
Totti really came to the fore on the international stage at Euro 2000.
He was handed his international debut in the qualifying campaign for the tournament, and by the time it came around he was one of the team's focal points. He hit two goals and provided an assist as Italy ran through to the final, but helped the Azzurri get there by scoring a penalty against the Netherlands in the last four.
It was a penalty, though, typical of his class. Edwin van der Sar was the unlucky person fishing the ball out of the net after Totti's 'cucchiaio' spot kick, and that style would come to be a signature of the great man's career.
He earned a man of the match award in the final too, even while Italy lost to France after extra time.
Now, to a great Totti goal. He's scored some blinders down the years, but one of this writer's personal favourites is a thumping left-footed volley that came against Udinese in 2000.
Following a cross field ball from Brazilian legend Cafu, Totti took the understanding of its flight and leathered the ball into the far corner, clean as a whistle. He could score all kinds of goals (as you'll be reminded of later) and helped his side to a 2-1 win.
That 2000/01 season will forever remain an historic one for Roma's favourite son. That year was the only time Totti has ever won the Serie A title, and he played a huge part on the way to winning the crown.
He hit a then personal record 13 league goals that season, and helped his side seal the Scudetto by scoring in a 3-1 win over Parma in June 2001.
Vincenzo Montella and Gabriel Batistuta also scored on the day. Not a bad front three...
Cucchiaio number two.
He'd score many more than that, but this goal perhaps remains one of the most famous of Totti's incredible Roma career.
Picking the ball up in his own half, he managed to slalom through a series of defenders - okay, admittedly the game was a little stretched at the time - find space in front of the opposition box and lift the most ridiculous of lobs over Julio Cesar.
The Calciopoli scandal engulfed Italian football in 2006, and the Azzurri went to that summer's World Cup in Germany with their national game in tatters.
Juventus were later relegated, while the likes of AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina were also handed hefty punishments in a match-fixing scandal that'll never be forgotten. Italy's players, though, managed to pull together and win the entire tournament for the first time since 1982.
Totti featured in all seven games his side played at the tournament, despite being forced to play with metal plates in his ankle that had yet to be removed following a surgery prior to the tournament.
It was the crowning achievement of a golden generation of Italian stars, which also featured the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro Del Piero, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon.
In an interview with the
New York Times, Totti has however named this volley against Sampdoria just over ten years ago as perhaps his greatest ever - as it was "a left-foot volley that showcased all of my characteristics".
He's also named lobs against Lazio on his list of greats, but it's yet more proof that he could really do it all.
Totti was never really considered as an out-and-out striker, but he did scoop the European Golden Shoe award in the 2006/07 season by scoring 26 in Serie A.
The goals came while he played in the position of a false-nine, and it remains his best ever return in front of goal. He'll stay as the club's record goalscorer for a very, very long time.
Francesco Totti has played in more Derby della Capitales than any man in history, with 44 appearances, and nobody has scored more goals. Totti has 11.
His last goal against local rivals Lazio came in January 2015 - a goal which levelled the match at 2-2 - and Totti famously celebrated by grabbing his smartphone and taking a selfie with the home fans in the background.
Totti's name will forever be synonymous with AS Roma, and he's now all set to move behind the scenes to continue his affiliation with the club. He is truly one of the greatest ever.