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Totti to retire at end of season – Roma

Roma’s forward from Italy Francesco Totti controls the ball during the Italian Serie A football match Roma vs Lazio at the Olympic Stadium in Rome on April 30, 2017. Lazio won 1-3. © AFP / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

ROME, Italy, May 3 – Roma club icon Francesco Totti will retire at the end of the season when the 40-year-old’s contract expires, new sports director Monchi said on Wednesday.

“I want him here right by my side. He is Roma. He can teach me what Roma is,” said Monchi at his unveiling in the role, adding the captain will remain at the club in a management position.

“There is an agreement in place. This is his last season but then he continues in management.”

“I want Totti to explain to me what Roma is, to make me understand what he knows,” added the Spaniard Monchi, who won credit for his sports director role at Sevilla, who won the Europa League in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The striker Totti has played all his professional career at Roma and is a hugely popular figure, making his debut in 1993.

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti had a series of run-ins with the Roma number 10 last season.

Despite that and his advancing years Totti answered with a string of key goals and eventually got another 12-month contract last summer, although Roma said then it would be his final season.

Asked how he felt after his last derby, the weekend defeat to Lazio, Totti said: “Others see this is as my last derby, but I don’t.”

Monchi also said he wants to keep Spalletti at Roma, who are second in Serie A.

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