Today Totti is seen by many as one of if not the best Roma player ever. This is the story of his career, and by the end you will see how his now grand legacy was created.
In 1992, Francesco Totti got his first spot on a non-youth squad. The team which he acquired this role in was Roma. March 28th, 1993 was the date that manager, Vujadin Boškov, gave him his debut against Brescia at the young age of 16–they won this match 2-0–. The following season Roma had a management change. Totti was now playing under Carlo Mazzone. Carlo saw something in Totti, and began playing him primarily as a second striker. September 4th, 1994 Totti showed that Carlo made the right decision when he scored his first goal.
By 1995, Totti was given a regular starter for the team. For his first 3 seasons he struck in 16 goals, and assisted multiple others. Carlo Mazzone was very impressed with this. Though 1996 saw Francesco Totti lose his manager, Carlo Mazzone–he was sacked–, and goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon–who is regarded as one of the top keepers in the world–.
The following season new manager, Carlos Bianchi, came in with high expectations for Totti becoming an integral role in Roma’s future success. He was disappointed however in Roma’s disappointing performance for that season so Carlos set up a deal for Totti to leave on loan to U.C. Sampdoria. Then chairman, Franco Sensi, impeded the deal. As a result tensions grew between Franco, and Carlos which caused them both to eventually leave the club.
In 1997 Roma acquired a new coach, Zdeněk Zeman. He grew Totti as a player immensely. He showed that year just how much promise he truly held. Seeing his strong potential, and skill Zeman decided to put him in a new role that would allow him the space to make things happen. With his new found success the club awarded him the jersey number 10. That season Zeman ran a 4-3-3 formation. This formation fit Totti’s play style greatly allowing him to score double digit goals in a season, for the first time in his career. To be exact he scored 13 goals. His great play helped Roma finish 4th in Serie A. His great play, and overall highest average match rating allowed him to win the Guerin d’Oro.
Now in 1998 he was not given the call up for international service during the World Cup, though he would get many more chances to play for Italy in the future. After all, Francesco ended up with an amazing international career.
Towards the later parts of 1998 Totti inherited the captain’s armband making him the youngest Serie A captain ever. Now during the 1998-1999 season Totti score another impressive amount of goals, and multiple other assists. This performance allowed him to win the Serie A Young Footballer of the Year for the 1998-1999 season.
1999 though saw then coach, Zdeněk Zeman, sacked. Roma decided Fabio Capello–the new manager following Zdeněk Zeman being sacked–gave the club a better chance at winning the league title.
For the 2000-2001 season Fabio decided the best course of action was to build a team around Francesco Totti. He also came to the conclusion that the formation was to be changed as well. He implemented a 3-4-1-2 scheme. Under such a formation Totti played the role of a attacking midfielder. Fabio sure knew what he was doing, as mid way through the season Roma sat top of the table. Totti scored a season total of 13 goals, and Roma ended up taking home the title. During this time–2000, and 2001–, Totti took home his first two Serie A Italian Footballer of the Year awards. During these two years he also received two Ballon d’Or nominations. He didn’t win however being voted 14th, and 5th respectively.
By the season 2004-2005 Roma was not doing great due to manger, and player changes. Though that year, Totti still scored 12 goals including his 100th Serie A goal. In 2004, Totti also broke the all-time scoring record for Roma when he struck in his 107th goal.
By the season of 2005-2006 new manager, Luciano Spalletti, decided to start Totti’s transition to striker. By 2005 due to his great season was rewarded an annual salary €5.4 million that lasted til 2010.
2006 saw Totti receive his first true injury. It was a fractured fibula, and caused him to miss a little under 3 months–as well it caused him to miss the 2006 World Cup–.
If you are interested in what happened during the rest of his career we now have part 2 available.
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