ISL 2017: Francesco Totti again on the radar after the Italian's move to Japan falls through
What’s the story?
Francesco Totti’s move to Tokyo Verdy has fallen apart as the footballer’s celebrity wife has refused to move to the Far East according to a report from The New Indian Express. "Ultimately he was unable to get his family's blessing," Verdy president Hideaki Hanyu told Japan's Nikkan Sports according to the report.
Once one of the top teams in Japan, Verdy is now tattering in the second division and are desperate for a better show in the upcoming season. However, their exciting bid for Totti came to an end rather abruptly. In the meantime, chances of Totti’s participation in ISL are getting bigger.
Totti has been a ‘wanted man’ among the ISL clubs. He not only brings unmatched experience and skills but also gives clubs a real x-factor. The 40-year-old, who recently made a tearful farewell to Roma after 25 years at his boyhood club, is reportedly considering other options before committing to any other club.
The heart of the matter
If the Roma legend agrees to play in the ISL then he will likely become the highest paid foreign footballer ever in the cash rich league. Earlier, Pune City had signed Kalu Uche in 2015 for €2 million – a figure that was only surpassed by Diego Forlan when he donned the Mumbai City FC shirt last year. Thus, this will likely be a very pricey affair.
Totti made 786 appearances and scored 307 goals for Roma in a glittering 25-year career, and won the World Cup with Italy in 2006. Now, when Verdy’s talk with Totti is over, chances are high that Roma legend will look other possibilities with the ISL a very realistic destination.
This veteran also won the Serie-A with Roma in the 2000-01 season.
The ISL committee has cancelled out the rule of having a marquee player for each franchisee. Hence, at 40, he would be one of the oldest outfielders in ISL and the clubs will be wary of spending a record sum of money for him. Yet, his brand value is simply unputdownable.
Totti – the name is enough to keep millions glued to their television sets. Totti – the name is enough to bring thousands of people to the ground.
The Italian has time and again made his nation proud on the world stage. He is one of the greatest ambassadors of the beautiful game and will bring not only nostalgia but also stardom to the Indian football scene. His presence will surely make the difference.