This article is written by Chelsea fan George. Check him out on Twitter @georjecb.
I, like many other football fans, have been completely consumed by the hype surrounding Totti recently. Every other post I see on Instagram is a picture of the Italian with an artsy filter and some sort of profound caption. This article was initially going to be an attempt at trying to prove why Totti isn't as good as everyone thinks, which lead to me conducting some research on the Italian. This is when I found out just how magnificent he actually is.
The first thing I noticed when I jumped onto Wikipedia (admittedly, this is my primary source for stats) was that Francesco Totti has scored 307 career goals for AS Roma. Throughout his 25 year playing career he's featured mainly as a playmaker or number 10, but for a five-year spell he did play as a striker. To rack up over 300 goals without playing as the primary striker for much of his career is an incredible statistic. I also must add that 71 of these goals came from the penalty spot - yes, it's a lot, but that still leaves 230 goals that were scored in open play.
One of the best things about Totti (and probably the main reason why he's adored by football fans world-wide) is just how long he's been playing. When a 16 year old starts playing first-team football, people usually assume that they'll naturally 'burn out' faster and will end up retiring aged 33/34. But not Totti. He's done the exact opposite and has continued playing at the highest level into his forties. Not only has he remained in the Italian top-flight, but he's also stayed at Roma for the whole time. This sort of loyalty isn't displayed an awful lot in football nowadays, so it's yet another reason for the iconic footballer to receive legendary status not only in Rome, but across the globe.
Francesco played his final game for AS Roma against Genoa in the final round of the Serie A on Sunday 28th May, 2017. Regardless of the result (Roma won 3-2), this marks the end of an era. Aside from Gianluigi Buffon, Totti is one of the last players from the 90s era of Italian football to retire. His career hasn't exactly been littered with trophies, but that's one of the few draw-backs of being a one-club man (as I'm sure Steven Gerrard would admit). That's not me trying to take anything away from him, though - he's had an outstanding career.
The term 'legend' is thrown around a lot these days, but I can assure you that a man who's played at the highest level for 25 years, won multiple club trophies including Serie A and won the World Cup is a certified legend. Thanks for all the memories, Francesco.