Roma legend Francesco Totti, who played for the capital club for 24 years before retiring in 2017, announced Monday that he was resigning as director.
“At 12:41pm on June 17, 2019, I sent an email... which was for me unimaginable: I handed in my resignation,” Totti said. “I never thought that this moment would come.”
The 42-year-old World Cup winner said his resignation was driven by his lack of inclusion in important decision-making within the club, something he blamed on Roma’s American owner James Pallotta.
“I was a weight for the club, I was told I was too cumbersome, both as a player and a leader,” said an emotional Totti. “Now I’m leaving and it hurts.”
Totti, who spent his entire professional career at Roma, added: “There are many things that made me think, they never let me take part. They only called me when they were in difficulty.
“In two years I’ve taken part in about 10 meetings.”
The former club captain, capped 58 times by Italy, insisted it was a “goodbye, not a farewell”, without giving further details.
“I can say that it is impossible for Totti to stay outside of Roma,” he said. “Now I’ll take a different path, but the moment another owner really wants to count on me, I’ll be ready.”
After making his senior Roma debut aged 16 in 1993, Totti went on to score 307 goals in 785 games, winning Serie A in 2001 and the Coppa Italia twice.
His departure follows that of former teammate Daniele de Rossi, the Serie A side deciding not to renew the midfielder’s contract after 18 years at the club.