Francesco Totti has revealed the lengths some fans will go to have a photo with him: recounting the story of one man who volunteered to stay in prison longer in order to meet the Roma legend.
Totti, whose autobiography will be released this week, went on Italian television channel Rai to promote the book this weekend - discussing some of the anecdotes that will be published.
That included the incredible story from a number of years ago, of a fan who willingly stayed in prison to meet the Giallorossi No. 10.
Shortly after helping Italy win the World Cup in 2006, Totti was scheduled to visit the Rebibbia prison in Rome as part of a charity initiative.
“We went to visit the prison and take a tour of the cells, where everyone was detained," Totti explained.
"Players from both Roma and Lazio went. Everyone was very happy because for them to see a player inside was like seeing the Pope.
"There was this lad there that kept shouting, ‘Me! Me! Me!’ and wanted, at absolutely all costs, to take a photo with me. No-one would let him through, but he started to push his way forward and try and get closer to me to take a photo. I did not really understand why he was so determined."
"If you make me leave, I will do something crazy to be sent back here!"
What the prisoner reportedly said
As recounted in the autobiography, the prisoner had reportedly been devastated to learn he would be released before Totti made his visit - and so wrote a letter to the prison warden asking for special dispensation to remain inside.
“Even if I lived for another 100 years, I’ll never again have a chance like this to have my photo taken alongside Totti," he wrote in the letter.
When Totti left after his scheduled visit, he was told about the unusual situation.
“They let me know that he was supposed to leave a week before, but had asked to stay one week longer because he had heard that I would be going there," Totti added.
"And also because he told them: “If you make me leave, I will do something crazy to be sent back here.”
Totti's autobiography is due to be released on his birthday, this Thursday.
"Even if I lived for another 100 years, I’ll never again have a chance like this to have my photo taken alongside Totti..."
Part of the letter the prisoner wrote, asking to stay