Speaking of the unique case of the Prince of Rome, it is enough to say that he told Roman Abramovich that he could only have him if he bought Roma, that is, that he refused fabulous money from Real Madrid to become part of the Galacticos.
Today, Totti enjoys the peace of football retirement and fame that does not fade. In a great interview for the British newspaper, the Guardian, Totti spoke about many things - the challenges of watching football from the sidelines, moments of "what would happen - if it were", why he never left Rome, how his family refused huge money from Milan, life, as well as whether he allows his 15-year-old son Cristian to beat him in pinball machines ...
"I do not want to let him win. "Things in life must be earned" Totti immediately hits the target. It was difficult to expect anything else from a man who built his entire career on the foundations of merit and achieved success the hard way, not by adhering to richer football empires ...
Legendary Diego Armando Maradona called him "the best footballer he has ever watched", and after 25 years of career, more than 300 goals and only one won Scudetto, he says he has nothing to regret. "I'm not someone who sits in an armchair today and thinks about what he could have achieved if he had chosen differently.
I did everything I could and took everything I was given. " He says that one Scudetto in his hometown and the club of his childhood means to him like ten in another team. He raised the only title of champion of Italy back in 2001.
"The city where you were born is always the most beautiful in the world. That is true, everyone has a special taste for the city in which he was born and lives, different from everyone else. For me, Rome is really the most beautiful city in the world.
In the end, we are all equal. Some more, some less. " Asked to draw a parallel between today's football and the one from the time when it started, Totti made a clear difference. It used to be played out of love, today for money.
"I started playing football at different times. It was a completely different football compared to today. Football was then full of love, affection for the fans." "It was much easier to play for the club you love, for which you support.
It is not a small thing to play for 25 years in one club, to be a captain, one of the most important players." "You always compare yourself up to others. Let me tell you - it is impossible to compare the present time with the past.
Today, everything is business. You go where you will earn the most. And that's fair, isn't it? ”
Real Madrid's offer
When you read something like this from Totti, many would probably think that he retired four decades ago, not four years ago.
Like many, Totti also had a chance to take, at the time, fabulous money from Real Madrid who called him in 2006. Had he agreed to move to Madrid he would have become the highest-paid player on the planet at the time. But it didn't happen.
It was one of the three moments when Totti could really leave his Roma. The first came when he was only 12 years old when the sports director of Milan personally knocked on the door of Totti's family house and invited him to move to the younger categories of the Rossoneri.
The second one happened in the 1996/97 season when Roma coach wanted to bring Jari Litmanen to Totti's position ... The winner of the 2006 World Cup revealed in his autobiography that Milan was "the only team in which he wanted to play alongside Roma as a kid", but that he and his parents then refused a check for 150,000,000 lira, which is in today's currency.75,000 euros.
It was huge money at the time. "I made the decision myself, with my own head. My parents often gave me advice and it is always right to listen to them. But then I was young, I knew the future was mine, I wanted to stay. " Real Madrid is a different story.
Totti has just turned 30, he became the winner of the World Cup with Italy, and he received an invitation that few would refuse. Blancos tried to hire him five years earlier, but Roma then refused to sit at the negotiating table at all.
In 2006, Totti's career was at the biggest crossroads ... "Of course I was thinking about going to Real. There were days when I was in Madrid with one foot and in Rome with the other. But even then, as I now claim, I made the decision to stay responsibly and honestly."
"I felt that I should stay even when such a feeling pulls you - it is impossible for you to leave ", says Totti and adds: "Looking at it now, that I said NO to Real Madrid, a little doubt remains in me. Real Madrid was then the only team I wanted to go to and play for."
"The experience in another country could have been so wonderful, for me, for the family ... But, I made the decision soberly and I was not wrong. Do you think that too?", asks the living legend of the Roman club.