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The A-to-Z of Francesco Totti

Following the announcement that Roma's No. 10 will play one final year in the Giallorossi shirt, we take an alphabetical look at Francesco Totti's illustrious career to date...

A is for ... Aalst

Totti's first goal in Europe came against Belgian side SC Eendracht Aalst at home in the Stadio Olimpico on 17 October 1995 in the UEFA Cup Round of 32.

B is for ... Brescia

The first team Totti faced in the league on 28 March 1993 in the Stadio Rigamonti (the game finished 2-0 to Roma). The young forward with the streak of blond hair came on in place of Ruggiero Rizzitelli when coach Vujadin Boskov decided to shuffle his pack. “When the gaffer told me to warm up I thought he was talking to Roberto Muzzi sat next to me. As it turns out he had me in mind! I couldn't believe it, the emotions I felt were indescribable.”

C is for ... Cristian and Chanel

Francesco's first two children with his wife Ilary. In his own words, “they are the joys of my life”.

D is for ... Derby

Totti is the king of derby goals in the league, having hit the back of the net 11 times against cross-city rivals Lazio. He has often celebrated these extra-special strikes with t-shirts made for the occasion – the one that bore the message 'I have purged you again' will live long in the memory of Romanisti everywhere.

E is for ... Euro 2000

This was the competition that made his name on the international scene, showing the whole world the talent and class of the Giallorossi superstar. With No. 20 on his back, Totti drove the Azzurri side coached by Dino Zoff all the way to the final, scoring key goals and putting in top-quality performances. He was chosen as Man of the Match in the tournament's showpiece event against France, despite Italy's shock defeat. The Italians had been ahead for almost the entire match, before a late strike from Sylvain Wiltord took the game into additional time - where David Trezeguet's golden goal took the cup north of the Alps.  

F is for ... Fortitudo Luditor

The first team Francesco turned out for was the famous club in the area of San Giovanni in Rome, where he grew up. Totti started showing off his talent in a Luditor shirt from the age of seven.

G is for ... 'Game over'

This was the message on the Captain's t-shirt after Lazio 1-2 Roma on 25 May 2015. The Giallorossi goals in this encounter came from Juan Iturbe and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. “That must have hurt, when you read 'Game over' you know there's nothing more you can do.” This was precisely the case for Stefano Pioli's Biancocelesti.

H is for ... Hannover

The German city was host to Totti's return in an Azzurri shirt after injuring his ankle in February 2006. Head coach Marcello Lippi picked the Giallorossi legend in the starting line-up for his team's opening group-stage match in the World Cup against Ghana on 12 June 2006. Italy won the game 2-0 thanks to goals from Andrea Pirlo and Vincenzo Iaquinta. It was the first victory in a tournament that ended with the Azzurri lifting that famous trophy.     

I is for ... Ilary (and Isabel)

Francesco's wife - and their third child, who was born in 2016. Married in 2005, Ilary was the recipient of a t-shirt with the message reading 'You're the only one for me', which Totti unveiled after scoring in the Rome derby in 2002: “She's a wonderful person and an ever better mother.”

J is for ... Julio Cesar

Brazilian goalkeeper, born in 1979. The Brazil legend has the misfortune of being between the sticks when Totti scored one of the best goals of his career – a chip that defied science and logic after he had run half of the pitch. Francesco beat Inter's stopper with a sublime finish that helped Roma to a 3-2 victory against Inter in the San Siro, their first in twenty years. “That goal in Milan was undoubtedly one of the best goals I have ever scored in my life."

K is for ... Kaiserslautern

The city where Totti scored the winning penalty against Australia on 26 June 2006 in the Round of 16 of the World Cup in Germany. Francesco was ice-cold from 12 yards, beating Mark Schwarzer with a perfect right-footed strike that flew into the top corner, sending Azzurri fans wild in the Fritz Walter Stadion. The goal took Italy into the last eight, one step closer to that memorable night in Berlin where Marcello Lippi's men won the World Cup for the fourth time in the country's history.     

L is for ... Walter Lapini

The first player to substitute Totti in a league or cup match. Francesco, who had just turned 17, started the third-round Coppa Italia tie against Sampdoria on 16 December 1993. Roma went on to lose the match on penalties, but the young lad's performance was enough to draw applause from the crowd. Upon returning to the bench, Totti was also greeted with compliments from all of his team-mates. His substitute, Lapini, was another player who promised great things, but the talented youngster from Tuscany wasn't able to leave the same mark in the history books as Francesco.

M is for ... Franco Mancini

The first goalkeeper to concede to a Francesco Totti strike in Serie A on 4 September 1994, during a Roma v Foggia fixture. Wearing No. 9 on that occasion, the young Francesco repaid the faith shown in him by fellow Roman Carlo Mazzone.

N is for ... Nordahl

Gunnar Nordahl was the last striker Totti overtook in the Serie A all-time goalscoring standings. The Giallorossi forward only has Silvio Piola in front of him now. The Swede was sat in second place until 17 March 2013 when Francesco scored against Parma. After he notched his 226th league goal, the entire stadium burst into a spontaneous standing ovation that lasted for minutes. His children Cristian and Chanel ran onto the pitch after the final whistle to celebrate the special moment with their dad, bringing Totti to tears as he embraced his little ones. 

O is for ... Olimpico 

The Stadio Olimpico has been home to Totti's magic year after year, weekend after weekend for more than twenty years. His first goal in his home stadium came on 21 August 1994 during a pre-season friendly against Valencia, won 1-0 by the Giallorossi thanks to the 17-year-old's strike.

P is for ... Parma

On 17 June 2001, Francesco Totti opened the scoring against the side from Emilia-Romagna in the game that would confirm Roma as Serie A champions. The match finished 3-1 with the Captain playing a starring role. Afterwards, he claimed the goal “was the most important that I have scored in my life”. Parma are also the team Totti has notched most goals against with 20.

Q is for ... Quim

The Portuguese goalkeeper, born in 1975, was the first man between the sticks to let in a Francesco Totti goal in an international fixture, when Italy beat Portugal 2-0 in a friendly on 26 April 2000. The other strike came from Mark Iuliano.

R is for ... Roma

The only club side Totti has represented throughout his entire professional career that began way back in 1993. In the Giallorossi legend's own words: “I could have gone to Real Madrid or Barcelona, but I wanted to be a Giallorossi for life. Lifting the Scudetto here was a unique feeling that I can't put into words. The love I have for our fans is worth much more than any titles or awards that I have won.”

S is for ... Scala

Vito Scala - friend, 'brother' but above all fitness coach. This man has allowed Francesco Totti to carry on playing in Italy and Europe even though he's almost 40. Certainly worth a mention.

U is for ... UEFA Champions League

Totti is the oldest player to have scored in Europe's premier club competition. When he hit the back of the net against CSKA Moskva in 2014-15, Francesco raised this record to 38 years and 59 days. It was previously held by Welshman Ryan Giggs, who bagged a goal at 37 years and 295 days. 

V is for ... Van der Sar

The goalkeeper for Holland's national team came up against Italy in the semi-finals of Euro 2000. Dino Zoff's Azzurri took the game to penalties against the tournament hosts and Totti stepped up to take one. Moments before he made the long walk to the spot, Francesco confided in Luigi Di Biagio: “I'm going to chip him.” True to his word, that's exactly what he did. It was a moment that made Totti a global superstar.

W is for ... World Economic Forum

The event where footballing legend Pelè branded Totti “the best player in the world”. Coming from such an authoritative figure, it was something Francesco would never forget. 

X is for ... X

The Roman numeral for No. 10, the shirt that has become synonymous with Francesco Totti.

Y is for ... YouTube

Just type the words 'Francesco Totti' into the video-sharing website and sit back and enjoy the great man's work. Writing about his exploits and describing them is one thing, but seeing them in action is a completely different ball game.

Z is for ... Zdenek Zeman

The Czech-Italian coach helped Totti more than anyone else at the beginning of his career, polishing the tactical and physical side of his game. He was also the first to hand Totti the captain's armband on 31 October 1998 during a league game against Udinese. Since then it has barely left his arm and for the Giallorossi, there'll only ever be one true Captain.   

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