Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Soccer: Totti one goal from being Serie A's 2nd top scorer

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 18 - Francesco Totti is within reach
of becoming Serie A's second top scorer of all time after his
ballistic effort on Saturday gave AS Roma a 1-0 win over leaders
Juventus.
The thunderbolt from outside the box, which travelled at
133km/h, was his 224th goal in the Italian top flight.
That puts him one behind Swedish great Gunnar Nordahl, who
is second in the rankings after scoring 225 goals for AC Milan
and Roma in the 1940s and 50s.
Former Italy international Totti will have his first chance
to equal Nordahl's tally when Roma visit Atalanta next weekend.
Once he is level with the Swede he will be able to get to
work on making inroads into the record of Silvio Piola, who
scored 274 goals for Pro Vercelli, Lazio, Juventus and Novara
between 1929.
Totti has already left great names such as Giuseppe Meazza,
Jose Altafini (both 216), Roberto Baggio (205) and Alessandro
Del Piero (188) in his wake.
Despite being 36, Totti is enjoying some of the best form
of his career.
He has scored nine times in Serie A this season and laid on
10 assists for his teammates.
But, as well as being a formidable footballer, Totti is
also a great club man.
So it is in character that his thoughts after scoring
against Juventus regarded how the goal might help Roma reverse
their recent poor form, rather than his legacy as a player.
Roma, who sacked coach Zdenek Zeman at the start of the
month and put assistant Aurelio Andreazzoli in charge as
caretaker boss, are a disappointing eighth in Serie A at the
moment.
'It was an important goal against one of the best teams in
the world,' said Totti.
'Let's hope it's a turning point. Here at Roma it's easy to
get carried away after a win.
'We have to keep our feet on the ground and think about one
game at a time. Let's hope that another championship can start
for us'.
The born-and-bred Roman made his top-flight debut aged 16
in a 2-0 win at Brescia in 1993 and scored his first league goal
the year after in a 1-1 draw against Foggia.
For one of Italian football's finest talents of recent
times, he has relatively few big club titles to his name, the
2001 scudetto and the 2007 and 2008 Italian Cup.
He has accepted that as the price of his loyalty to Roma,
after refusing to succumb to the lure of bigger clubs.
He also sacrificed his Azzurri career for Roma, retiring
from international football after being part of the 2006 World
Cup-winning campaign, saying his body was no longer up to
playing for both club and country.
The year after he won the Golden Boot prize for being
Europe's top scorer in domestic competition with 26 Serie A
goals.
Totti has shown hardiness to reach the 224 total,
frequently returning from injury to find more goals after
critics suggested he was past his best.
He has also displayed character to come back from the media
poundings he suffered following a handful of moments of ill
discipline, including an infamous spitting incident at Euro 2002
and a violent hack on Mario Balotelli in the 2010 1-0 Italian
Cup final defeat to Inter Milan.
Totti may yet have enough time to catch up with Piola.
He has said he wants to play until he is 40 and the club
have hinted they will renew his contract, which is set to expire
in 2014.

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