ROME (Reuters) - AS Roma’s talismanic playmaker Francesco Totti confirmed that Sunday’s Serie A match at home to Genoa will be his last after 25 years at the club, but left his future shrouded in mystery by saying he was ready for a “new challenge”.
The 40-year-old gave no clues as to whether the new challenge would be a director’s role at Roma or playing at a different club, something which has always been considered unthinkable for one of soccer’s most loyal players.
“From Monday, I‘m ready to go again. I‘m ready for a new challenge,” Totti said on his Twitter feed. “Roma-Genoa, Sunday May 28, 2017, the last time I can wear Roma’s jersey.”
Totti added: ”I can’t tell you in a few words how much these colours mean, meant and will always mean to me.
“I just feel that my love for football never fades. It’s a passion, my passion. It’s so deep I can’t imagine not fuelling it any longer. Ever.”
Until Thursday, Totti had refused to confirm or deny his plans for the future, although Roma officials had said he would not be offered another contract after this season.
Totti has been little used by coach Luciano Spalletti this season, playing a total of 327 minutes in his 17 Serie A appearances and scoring two goals.
Roma need to beat Genoa on Sunday to finish second in Serie A and qualify for the Champions League group stage next season.
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Mark Heinrich