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Totti would consider AS Roma return despite being forced out under previous owners

·2-min read
Serie A - Inter Milan v AS Roma

ROME (Reuters) - AS Roma great Francesco Totti says he was forced out of the club when he resigned as a director in 2019, but he would consider returning if the Serie A club's new owners asked him back.

Totti spent his entire playing career at Roma before his retirement in the summer of 2017, winning one Serie A title and becoming the club's all-time top scorer.

He then held a directorial role until handing in his resignation in June 2019.

The former playmaker criticised then-owner James Pallotta after his departure by saying the American had "made the same mistakes for eight years".

"I saw myself at Roma forever, but there were some unexpected consequences, as if they backed me against a wall to get me to take a decision that I would never have taken," the 2006 Italy World Cup winner told Bobo TV.

Roma has since undergone a change in ownership, as the U.S. billionaire Dan Friedkin took control from Pallotta in August 2020.

Totti now has his own scouting and management agency, but conceded he could be tempted back if Friedkin wanted him.

"I would sit down and talk about it," he said.

"Now I've set off on this path, I want to complete it. I'm continuing with my work. But I would've killed myself before leaving Roma."

Totti also believes that his hometown club would benefit from more homegrown involvement, with American owners in charge and two Portuguese, coach Paulo Fonseca and General Manager Tiago Pinto, running the technical side.

"If I had stayed at the club, I would've liked to be a technical director. Not to have power over everyone, but the players," Totti said.

"I could've given more than some other directors, with all due respect. In that context I was the last of the last, but I was never involved in the decisions.

"At Roma the owners are foreign, the coach is foreign, the general manager is foreign.

"Someone who is from Rome and knows everything about Rome would be the best solution and is what they are missing at the moment."

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Christian Radnedge)