Roma legend Francesco Totti reveals how close he was to Real Madrid move

  • One-club man Totti has again admitted just how close he was to potentially joining Real Madrid
  • At the time in question, Real Madrid offered him €25m - the only player who would earn more was Raul
Mo Omi
Modified 18 May 2020, 23:01 IST

Totti was close to Real, would
Totti was close to Real, would've been among highest-paid players (Picture source: Getty / Sportskeeda)

Roma legend Francesco Totti has revealed he was once close to a Real Madrid move which would have seen him earn €25m and been their second-highest paid player behind Raul.

Totti, who retired in 2017, is famous for being one of football's few legendary one-club men.

He managed to resist the temptations of top European clubs throughout his career as the key player in a Roma side who weren't particularly successful in terms of silverware.

Totti won four domestic cups and one Scudetto during his illustrious career, making 785 appearances across all competitions spanning 24 years, including 103 in Europe.

Nonetheless, the former Italy international could not escape the lure of La Liga giants Real Madrid and admits he was seriously close to joining them.

He is said to have been "close on several occasions" and during an interview given to Libero Magazine, the 43-year-old was honest when discussing their interest and how things could may have panned out.

Totti admits Real Madrid move was close

He described himself as having an "80% intention" to join Real Madrid, who were keen to capitalise on a poor period at Roma where they may have cashed in on their prized asset.

As per El Espanol, he said:

"It was not the best period at Roma and they offered me a lot - I was to have a contract of about €25m. They offered [me] everything except the captaincy because Raul was there.
Raul was the player who had to earn more: he was the captain, the symbol of Real Madrid. Anyone [including me] who came had to earn less than Raul." 

Totti also admitted that his wife, Ilary Blasi, was prepared to leave her ventures in Rome to relocate to Madrid with him at the time. Ultimately, he thought of the bigger picture.

"I don't reject it, I think about it a lot. As I said before, 80% [intention] was there. In addition, Ilary said 'I leave everything, I'm going with you, let's make this decision,' - a decision [which was made] from the heart, thinking of the fans, friends and family." 

Totti had seen his rivals venture abroad to pastures new and didn't want to follow them elsewhere, instead staying put.

"Do something different from what other players had always done. Many went to [Real] Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern. I felt differently." 

Raul, who turns 43 next month, retired at the end of 2015.

He, just like Totti, enjoyed his peak years at one club - 18 years at Real Madrid - before leaving for Bundesliga side Schalke on a free transfer in 2010. 

The former Spain international scored 325 goals and created 109 assists in 741 appearances for Los Blancos, earning the distinction of being their most capped player. 

In the pre-Cristiano Ronaldo era at the Bernabeu, Raul was Real Madrid's best and most consistent player - so it makes sense that Totti, despite his impressive exploits in Italy, would have been below him in the squad hierarchy had he joined. 

Published 18 May 2020, 23:01 IST
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