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The perfect 10: Totti's greatest goals

10:23 PM MYT 27/09/2022
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GOAL celebrates the King of Rome's 46th birthday by showcasing the most significant strikes of his storied career.

Few players spend their entire careers at one club. Fewer still manage to spend 24 years at the highest level. Francesco Totti did both. Simply because he was no ordinary player.

He was a genuine phenomenon, 'The Golden Boy' who became 'The Eighth King of Rome'.

Totti made his Roma debut at just 16 years of age. By the time he retired in 2017, he had scored 307 goals in all competitions for his hometown club. He also netted nine times for Italy, whom he helped win the 2006 World Cup.

Below, GOAL runs through his most significant strikes, from the crucial efforts that decided games to the sublime demonstrations of skill that took our breath away...

Enjoy!

  • totti australia

    #10 A high-pressure penalty

    There had been considerable concern over whether Totti would even make it to the 2006 World Cup, having suffered a broken ankle just three months before the tournament kicked off.

    However, despite the forward's lack of game time, Marcello Lippi was never in any doubt about reserving a place in his squad for the No.10. The coach's faith in Totti was fully vindicated.

    Indeed, while there may have been plates and screws in his ankle that had been yet to be removed, he still contributed four assists during Italy's triumphant campaign.

    Totti also scored one crucial goal, showing nerves of still to convert a penalty five minutes into injury time of Italy's last-16 clash with Australia to send his country through to the quarter-finals.

  • Francesco Totti Roma Real Madrid 2001

    #9 Stunning the Santiago Bernabeu

    Real Madrid spent years trying to convince Totti to move to the Spanish capital, and it was easy to understand why.

    He had, after all, masterminded Roma's first ever victory at the Santiago Bernabeu, in the first group stage of the 2002-03 Champions League.

    After Candela had pounced on a loose ball inside his own half, Totti surged forward before waiting until the right moment to release his full-back, who had continued on running down the left flank.

    Candela reached by by-line after dummying one defender and then produced the perfect cut-back for the supporting Totti, who swept the ball home and ran off celebrating with his shirt pulled over his head.

  • Francesco Totti Manchester City Roma UEFA Champions League

    #8 Totti humbles Hart

    On September 30, 2014, Totti became the oldest goalscorer in Champions League history – and he did it in fitting fashion.

    Midway through the first half of a group-stage clash with Manchester City, and Roma trailing to an early penalty from Sergio Aguero, Radja Nainggolan put his captain in on goal.

    Joe Hart came rushing out to narrow the angle but Totti being Totti, he simply dinked the ball over the English goalkeeper to level the game.

    The Italian, who was 38 at the time, then broke his own record just a few weeks later when he struck in a 1-1 draw at CSKA Moscow.

  • totti derby 1999

    #7 'I have purged you again'

    Totti just didn't score memorable goals, he also produced iconic celebrations. Certainly, Roma fans will forever remember the way in which he marked his late goal in a 3-1 win over Lazio in April 1999.

    Totti was still only 22 but he had already become the scourge of Roma's city rivals, so when he sealed a derby win for his side with a thumping finish, he revealed a tee-shirt which famously read, "I have purged you again."

  • Francesco Totti selfie Roma Lazio Serie A

    #6 The Selfie

    When it comes to derby-day celebrations, though, Totti arguably outdid himself in January 2015.

    Roma went in at half-time trailing 2-0 but their skipper pulled a goal back just three minutes after the break and then levelled matters in the 64th minute.

    Totti celebrated his equaliser by leaping over the advertising boards behind the goal, collecting a mobile phone from a member of the club staff and then taking a selfie in front of the Curva Sud.

    The man really did have a flair for the unexpected, both on and off the pitch...

  • Francesco Totti

    #5 'Mo je faccio er Cucchiaio'

    It may not have come in regulation time but Totti's Panenka penalty against the Netherlands at Euro 2000 is the stuff of legend, and tells you so much about the nature of the man.

    Indeed, as Totti awaited his turn in the shootout, after the semi-final had finished scoreless, he turned to Luigi Di Biagio and told his team-mate in his strong Roman dialect, 'Mo je faccio er Cucchiaio.' Rough translation: 'Now I'm doing a 'spoon' – the Italian term for a Panenka.

    And that's exactly what he did, audaciously chipping the ball over Edwin van der Sar in the most high-pressure of circumstances to help Italy win the shootout 3-1.

    The Azzurri may have been beaten by a French Golden Goal in the final but Totti's statement of intent in the semis has become part of Italian football folklore.

  • Francesco Totti Roma 2002

    #4 Totti takes Capello's breath away

    Francesco Totti did something truly extraordinary on January 6, 2002: he provoked a show of jubilation out of Fabio Capello.

    The Roma boss was renowned for keeping his emotions in check whenever his side scored but even he was brought to his feet by Totti's moment of magic against Torino.

    Having been put through on goal by Candela, the No.10 faked to shoot before rolling his studs across the ball, taking it past the forlorn goalkeeper.

    Totti then coolly shifted his weight back onto his right-hand side, sending a defender flying in the wrong direction too, before slotting home.

  • Francesco Totti Roma Inter 2005

    #3 Totti lights up San Siro

    Julio Cesar freely admits that it's a goal that "still p*sses me off today". In truth, though, there was nothing that the Inter goalkeeper really could have done about Totti's sublime solo effort at San Siro.

    For starters, he was hardly to blame for Totti picking the ball up in midfield and seeing off three tacklers as he advanced towards Cesar's area.

    Of course, he could have been standing closer to his line at the time but, let's face it, few players would have been able to pull off what Totti did next, with the Roma ace almost effortlessly lifting the ball up and over the Brazilian's head and into the net.

    Even Cesar grudgingly admits it was one of Totti's finest goals.

  • totti parma 2001

    #2 Sealing the Scudetto

    Roma went into the final day of the 2000-01 season knowing that a victory over Parma would seal the Serie A title. There was tension in the air, though. Roma had drawn their previous two games and Juventus were ready to pounce.

    Almost inevitably, it was Totti who calmed the home side's nerves. With just under 20 minutes gone, the ball arrived at his feet just inside the area. The finish was characteristically emphatic.

    The Stadio Olimpico erupted and Totti tore off his shirt as he ran to once again celebrate before his fellow Romans.

    It would be the only Scudetto success of Totti's career, making it the most important moment of his club career.

  • Totti Sampdoria Roma

    #1 Stunner at Sampdoria

    From his most important goal to his most beautiful. Indeed, there is no greater demonstration of Totti's technique than his perfectly executed volley against Sampdoria in November 2006.

    It arrived with 17 minutes remaining, and Roma cruising to victory. Marco Cassetti lofts a ball towards the left-hand side of the Sampdoria box.

    Totti is standing just inside the area. The angle is ridiculously acute. A shot should have been the last thing on his mind.

    But Totti takes it first time, with his 'weaker' left foot, and finds the bottom right corner of the goal with staggering precision, making it look almost easy.

    That's how good Francesco Totti was, and why he'll forever be remembered, not just by Roma supporters, but football fans across the world.