Roma legend Francesco Totti defended coach Jose Mourinho following the clubs poor start to the season, and revealed he may be back with the Giallorossi next season. Roma have lost two and drawn one of their opening three Serie A matches, despite playing well in each of them.
Speaking at the end of the Italian Padel Awards, Francesco Totti was presented with the Ambassador Award by Corriere dello Sport editor Ivan Zazzaroni, and shared some thoughts on his beloved former club:
“With Mourinho we text each other every now and then, I heard from him some time ago through Vito Scala, he is above all a great person and a great man, then as a coach I put him alone, he is the number one ever. To win you need players, that’s basic, but you also need a great coach who stimulates them, helps them and puts them on the pitch in the right conditions: that’s a perfect combination.
“Criticism of Mourinho who has won 24 trophies? Think of the others who have won less. I think he’s the number one in the world to have won the most titles, maybe more than Ancelotti, but let’s stay there, to criticise him seems like heresy. I miss Roma a lot, then the pitch misses almost all the former players I think, it was our outlet, our fun, our passion, something that makes us happy.”
“Me and Lukaku up front? We’d have been at each other’s throats. It would be time to see Lukaku and Dybala together, but it’s a short time away. In our time there was more quality and now more quantity. We look for little in the youth sectors, we look abroad for players that I think are inferior to those we have in Italy. Let’s say that the playing field is different from the outside, on the pitch I had fun and I expressed myself as I wanted to.
“Outside there are hierarchies and different ways of working, I don’t miss anything about football because I enjoy the games and I watch Roma from home, for me football will never die. My head is still the same, with less experience, if I had to start again it would be different. I enjoyed everything that was going through me at the time.
“The farewell? As I’ve said before, for us footballers football is everything and to end in a certain way is one thing, to end not showing respect is another, that’s what happened to me.
Totti and the number 10 to Dybala, the thoughts of the former Roma captain
“The number 10 shirt? Taking away Paulo Dybala, who deserves such a number, I wouldn’t give it to a guy who stays for 2-3 or 4 years, just for the sake of it, it doesn’t seem right. But not towards me, but for the representation.”
Are you coming back to Roma next year?
“Maybe next year I’m already there…”