Francesco Totti threatens to quit Roma

 

An outburst from talismanic striker Francesco Totti, who said he would think about leaving the club after 19 seasons, has provided the latest twist to the soap opera at ambitious AS Roma.

Roma, who visit Napoli in Serie A on Sunday, quickly played down Totti's comments which followed criticism of his missed penalty in last Monday's 1-1 draw at home to Juventus.

Sporting manager Walter Sabatini praised Totti for showing his emotion and said the 35-year-old's comments were made in the heat of the moment.

"I don't like calm waters, he has been hurt by the criticism," he told Sky Sports Italia. "He has been spontaneous and has done the right thing by saying it.

"Totti's not going anywhere, he is Roma," Sabatini added. "He will continue to represent Roma for many years."

Totti, who has often been relegated to the substitutes' bench by coach Luis Enrique, said: "If I'm the problem, then I'll think about (leaving).

"It's not because of the club or the coach or my team mates, I dislike things a few fans have said against me.

"If things carry on in this way, I will continue to think about it."

Roma, taken over in April by a consortium led by United States businessman Thomas Di Benedetto, have struggled to live up to expectations which were heightened by a summer spending spree and Luis Enrique's comment that he wanted them to play like Barcelona.

Instead, they have managed five wins in 14 Serie A outings, dropping to 10th with 18 points and 12 behind leaders Juventus.

Luis Enrique, who took over in the close season, quickly courted controversy by leaving Totti on the bench and the storm only subsided after the striker issued a statement asking for backing for the coach.

There was further trouble when leading scorer Pablo Osvaldo lashed out at teenager Erik Lamela after a match at Udinese and was suspended for one game by the club.

Under pressure Luis Enrique, whose future has already been questioned, then lost his temper and swore at journalists in a media conference before the Juventus game.

Unbeaten Juventus, level at the top on 30 points with surprise package Udinese, have a chance to go clear when they host Novara while their rivals have a much more difficult match at Lazio.

Lazio, winners of their last two games, are level on 28 points in third place with AC Milan, who should win at home to a Siena team who have taken one point from their last 15 and are only two points above the relegation zone.

Inter Milan, who climbed from 15th to sixth after two wins in the last week, host a Cesena side who were winless in their first 10 outings but have won three of their last four.

Reuters

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests