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Roma's Totti reportedly dropped after interview

AS Roma's Francesco Totti prepares to kick a corner as a Carabiniere takes a picture during the Serie A soccer match against Frosinone in Frosisone, September 12, 2015. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito/Files
AS Roma's Francesco Totti prepares to kick a corner as a Carabiniere takes a picture during the Serie A soccer match against Frosinone in Frosisone, September 12, 2015. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito/Files

MILAN (Reuters) - AS Roma stalwart Francesco Totti has reportedly been left out of the squad and sent home after the 39-year-old complained about a lack of playing time in a television interview on Saturday.

Roma are due to face Palermo on Sunday evening and Italian media said that the playmaker, who is in his 24th season at his only professional club, had been barred by coach Luciano Spalletti. The club did not immediately comment.

Totti has missed three months of the season with a thigh muscle injury but told Rai television on Saturday that he had recovered and was ready to play.

"I want to play," he said. "I'm fit and if I am left out of the team now, it's a technical decision.

"I don't like being on the bench, I understand that I have to play less at my age but to finish my career like this is tough for someone who has given so much to Roma."

Asked about his relationship with Spalletti, who replaced Rudi Garcia in January, Totti replied: "With him, it's good morning and good night and nothing else.

"I had hoped that he would have said to my face the things I've been reading in the newspapers."

Totti scored his 300th competitive goal for them against Sassuolo in September. That was his only goal of the season so far and he made only one further appearance, against Carpi on Sept. 26.

(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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