Spalletti regrets 'dividing' Roma and Totti

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The saga over the club icon's eventual departure reflected badly on the coach, who feels he did not do his job properly in uniting the two parties

Luciano Spalletti hopes Roma can be reunited around new boss Eusebio Di Francesco after admitting he played a divisive role around Francesco Totti's departure.

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Spalletti was confirmed as Inter head coach this week, having led Roma to third and second-place finishes in Serie A in the past two seasons.

It was his second spell in charge of the capital club but the decision to marginalise veteran forward and modern great Totti became on ongoing saga, even if Roma's results on the field vindicated Spalletti's decision.

Totti made his final Roma appearance on the last day of the season against Genoa, with Spalletti's departure coming the following week, and the coach has admitted his regret over how the situation unfolded.

"Inter contacted me when I was about to finish the championship," Spalletti said in his first news conference as Nerazzurri coach. "[Roma president James] Pallotta had already been warned by me that I would be gone.

"After the farewell to Roma, this was the best thing that could happen to me. I say this without wanting anyone to take offence.

"In Rome, I had become the one that divided rather than united. There was this problem on the management of Totti.

"I came to see this contrast – the love for the most important player prevailed on the support and affection that we had to have for the team.

"In not being able to put the two things together, I did not do my job well. These two things must go hand in hand.

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"I was in trouble because I heard rumours from the fans. I heard them on the streets, in bars, at traffic lights. Many were in favour but there was a line of demarcation.

"They must all be united. I even now wish this to Roma."

Inter finished seventh in Serie A last season, 29 points behind champions Juventus, and Spalletti will embark upon a rebuilding job with the club outside of European competitions.

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