With Serie A about to be up and running (after this dreadful international break), I thought it would be fun to write a little opinion piece for easily, the two greatest Italians of the last decade, Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero.
I think both will prove to be more important in the upcoming season than people expect. Juventus lack a true and proven striker, and will lean on Del Piero to help this puzzling lineup in Turin gel. In the eternal city, Totti finally has the support of strikers he has not seen since the early 2000s when Gabi Batistuta helped lead Roma to their first Scudetto in 20 years. If Adriano and Borrielo can find form for Roma, then they will truly be a force in both Europe and Italia.
While it is hard to compare the two legends, I feel that a few things can help show us who has produced more for each individual’s clubs. Remember that while both plays in the #10, playmaker role in the renowned “trequartista” Del Piero has always been more of a true striker than Totti, who is the definition of a “midfield magician.” I will not hide the fact that I think Totti, surrounded by less talented players, has produced a more impressive career.
That said lets examine their respective goal scoring records
Del Piero: 457 appearances; 198 goals for Juventus
91 appearances; 27 goals for Italia
F. Totti: 443 appearance; 192 goals for A.S. Roma
58 appearances; 9 goals for Italia
Totti, with 14 less appearances, has scored just 6 less goals than the legendary striker!!! Del Piero’s international goal scoring record is certainly impressive, but then again, he was playing with the great Francesco Totti!!
Moving on to individual honors:
Del Piero: UEFA Champions League Top Scorer 1997-1998
Serie A Top Scorer 2007-2008
2x Italian Footballer of the Year 1998, 2008
F. Totti: European Golden Boot 2006-2007
2x Serie A Footballer of the Year 2000, 2003
5x Italian Football of the Year 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007
Serie A Top Scorer 2006-2007
It should also be noted that both players lead their respective clubs in all-time appearances and all-time goals scored. While it is hard to distinguish these honors, I would note that Totti led both Italia and Europe in scoring with 26 goals. Del Piero led just Italia in scoring with 21 goals.
It is hard to truly evaluate both players, as they have never played together, and each plays for a truly unique team. Roma on one hand, have never been able to spend the amount on transfers that Juventus has. Look at the 2008 transfers of Amauri for €22.8 million compared to Roma’s purchase of Jeremy Menez at €10.5 million. However, Roma have shown that they can continuously produce some of the peninsula’s best youth players (Amelia, Aquilani, De Rossi, etc.).
With all of this in mind, it is hard for this writer to place Il Pinturicchio above Er Purpone. However, I will say that both have remained incredibly loyal to their clubs, and each should go down as legends in not just Italian Football history, but World Football history. That said, Totti may be the best footballer to have graced this planet in the past 10 years. Hopefully, for all our sakes, both continue to contribute to their legends.