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Francesco Totti

Spalletti: I will go to the cemetery to look for Totti's shirt if Roma retire it

19:04 GMT+4 06/05/2017
Francesco Totti - cropped
After incoming sporting director Monchi said the Roma icon will end his career this season, the coach insists they should keep his shirt number alive

Luciano Spalletti claims Francesco Totti's respect for his team-mates means he is waiting until the end of the season to announce a decision on his future, with the coach adamant Roma's No.10 shirt should not be withdrawn.

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Incoming sporting director Monchi this week claimed Totti will retire when the 2016-17 campaign is over and take up a role behind the scenes at Stadio Olimpico.

The prospect of the talisman's playing days coming to an end has prompted many to suggest the capital club should retire the number he has owned for the majority of his career.

But the coach beleives it would be a bad idea, as many young players inspired by Totti will dream of wearing the same number in the coming years. 

"I say that they shouldn't retire it," he told reporters. "Before Totti, Giuseppe Giannini wore the No.10... in the past others withdrew the shirt. 

"But what about the kid who longs to play with that shirt? Do we want to deprive him of this pleasure? 

"I can't bear to hear people saying that the shirt should be retired. This is my thought. If I don't see that shirt anymore, then I will go to the cemetery and will look for Totti's shirt to see it again."

Despite Monchi's claims, Totti has not spoken publicly about his future, and Spalletti feels it is wrong to discuss it until the player reveals his decision.

"If we speak about the Totti situation, Monchi has only reported on the situation he has found," he said.

"He said that Francesco has signed a contract [to become a director] - that's what he knows and that's what he reports. 

"Francesco is going through the most important moment of his career, he wants to wait the end of the season and he wants to keep quiet in order to stress the importance of the final streak of games. 

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"Whereas you [the media] care more about his fate than the others, but in order to achieve results, we should take everyone into consideration. 

"It's the president who is managing Totti's career ending and it seems to me that he has already done this. 

"I haven't heard from any of his entourage and this means that they want to wait the end of the season and only then will he [Totti] voice his thoughts. 

"And I think it would be better if it was him doing it. Monchi only stated what he has already found on the table."