Here we are. The moment has come. Can you hear me?
It looks like a concert!
Sadly, this moment arrived, even though I hoped it would never arrive.
These days I read a lot of things about me: good, beautiful things. I cried a lot, every single day, by myself like a lunatic. Because 25 years are not going to be forgotten, with you behind my back that helped me through good and bad moments.
And for this, I want to thank you all here, even though it’s not easy in this circumstance. You know I don’t speak a lot, but I definitely think a lot. And these days with my wife we had talks about the years I had with this shirt, this unique shirt.
I wrote a letter for you as well. I hope I will be able to read it out. If I don’t manage to read it all, my daughter Chanel will do it for me, because she loves it.
(I need to take a breath, sorry, it’s not easy for me) - in a laughing manner - I’ll go before it gets too late. I suppose you’re hungry, it’s time for dinner. Even though I’d stay here for another 25 years.
Thank you Rome, thank you mom and dad, my brother, my family, my friends. Thank you to my wife and my sons.
I wanted to start from the end, from the farewells, because I don’t know if I’ll be able to read this all. It’s impossible to tell about 28 years in a few sentences. I would like to tell them through songs or else, but you know I’m not good at that. So I tried to write them with my feet, for these 28 years, which was a lot easier for me.
You know what my favourite toy was? The ball. It still is. But at some point we get old. This is how they told me time works, damn it.
It’s that same time that on that 17th of June of 2001 we hoped it would run faster. (The day Roma won the Scudetto) We couldn’t wait to hear the referee blow his whistle three times. I still have goosebumps about it.
Today time came at my door saying: “We have to grow up. From tomorrow onwards you will be old. Take off your shorts and shoes because from today you’re a man, and you won’t be able to smell the grass of the pitch from this close. The sun in your eyes when you’re running towards the goal. The adrenaline that consumes you and the satisfaction in celebrating.
I’ve asked myself in these last months, "Why are they waking me up from this dream?"
Do you remember when you were kids and you were dreaming something beautiful? And your mother wakes you up because it’s time for school, but you preferred staying in bed and sleep? And you try to get back into the story again, but you never succeed?
This time it wasn’t a dream. It was real life.
This letter is for all of you, for the kids that cheered on me, for the ones that were once kids and are now fathers, and for the ones of today that maybe still yell "Totti goal!”
I like to think that my career will be for you a tale to tell to people.
Now it’s really over. I take off my shirt for the last time and I fold it nicely; even though I’m not ready to do it yet, and maybe I never will.
Sorry if in these last few months I didn’t say anything about what happens and my thoughts, but turning the light off isn’t easy.
Now I am scared. It’s not the same fear I have when I have to score a penalty, this time I can’t see through the holes of the net what will happen next.
Let me be scared. This time I am the one who needs you and the warmth you are able to give me. The one that you always showed to me. – fans start chanting very loudly – With you by my side, I will surely be able to turn the page, and to begin a new adventure.Now it’s the time to thank all of my teammates, the staff, the managers, all the ones who worked beside me all these years. The fans, La Curva Sud. A symbol to us Romans and Roma fans.
Being born Romans and Roma fans is a privilege, being the captain of this team has been an honor. You are and you will always be in my life. I won’t be able to excite you with my feet anymore, but my heart will always be there with you.
Now I’ll go down the stairs, I’ll go into the locker rooms that met me when I was a kid, and I will leave as an adult.
I am very proud and happy to have given you 28 years of love. I LOVE YOU. “