Roma legend Francesco Totti has admitted he came close to quitting the game after he was dismissed in the Coppa Italia final at the end of last season.
The veteran saw red after lashing out at Internazionale youngster Mario Balotelli and picked up a four-game ban for his act of ill-discipline.
Despite being on the verge of hanging up his boots, the 33-year-old was talked out of a premature end to his glittering career.
He admitted: "There was a time when I thought about quitting. I thought about it because of what happened, on and off the pitch. Then I talked to people close to me who made me think about it.
"But when there's passion it's right to continue. Every time something happens concerning me it's worth ten times as much. I have asked myself so many times, why? And I've answered that it happens because at the end of the day I'm good.
"Maybe people don't like me because I'm from Rome. Were the club close to me? Yes."