Why Francesco Totti of Roma Was Serie A's Player of the Weekend

Matteo BonettiContributor IFebruary 17, 2013

As if Francesco Totti's lightning bolt that would've taken off Gianluigi Buffon's hand wasn't enough, he is only one goal away from tying the legendary Gunnar Nordahl at 225 Serie A goals.

Currently third all-time, the beloved Roma captain has captured the hearts of Giallorossi fans with his insurmountable city pride, one he claims has been strong enough to fend off any interest from a few La Liga teams earlier in his career.

Totti could've pursued glory elsewhere. He could have taken the easy route and joined a horde of superstars, piling trophies and earning a fatter paycheck. Instead, his love and pride for the city of Rome has kept him put at La Maggica since 1993. Two decades have gone by since Roma fans had the pleasure of watching Er Pupone grace the Stadio Olimpico field.

At the ripe old age of 36, Totti has rejuvenated his career. Whether a falling out with former Roma coach Claudio Ranieri had anything to do with his dip in form several years ago remains a mystery.

However, if there was one thing Zdenek Zeman did right, it was giving Totti a creative freedom on the pitch. Sometimes slotted further back in the midfield creating like a deep-lying playmaker, other times poached in the box waiting for a chance to unleash a venomous blow, Totti's performances this season have been nothing short of spectacular. 

This weekend against Juventus, he once again showcased his immense talent by threading passes to pinpoint perfection and being the deciding factor in helping Roma gather all three precious points. He now has nine goals in 23 league appearances this season and continues to be a mentor to the youngsters on the team. 

What's going to be the saddest moment of Totti's retirement is seeing one of the last true Bandiere (Italian term to describe a team icon) ride off into the sunset. With the newer generation of footballers more interested in their hair gel and DJs, Totti is one of the few players in European football to stay true to his childhood club.

And for that, here's an ode to a true legend of the game.