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The coach backed his captain to the hilt...

Roma coach Claudio Ranieri was in bullish mood in his pre-match press conference on Saturday, defending the criticisms directed towards Francesco Totti after the topic of his red card in the Coppa Italia final dominated proceedings.

"Too much has been said about Francesco. We have spoken about it and from one Roman to another, I have told him what I thought. He is human. He understands that and has apologised," Ranieri explained.

"There aren't many people who say sorry when they have made a mistake or done something bad. Unfortunately he lost his head, but that's all. Now we must move on."

The recipient of the ugly kick, Inter's Mario Balotelli, claimed this week that he had also been racially abused by 'Er Pupone' but his coach rubbished the idea.

"Totti is a racist? Clearly you don't know him - you should see him joke around with Juan and Julio Baptista. Obviously you don't know him and want to denigrate him. And that's not right. Any father would want Francesco as his son. He doesn't deserve to be criticised like that."

The coach then turned to the matter of Sunday's clash with Cagliari and is hopeful that the Giallorossi can conclude their season on a high.

"Now there is the league and we must finish it as best we can. We are coming up against Cagliari who secured safety early on and who create many goalscoring chances."

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