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
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home