It’s a good thing they weren’t awarded a penalty with him on the pitch
A lot of thought and planning went into Francesco Totti’s final match with Roma, but according to teammate Juan Jesus, the captain kept changing his mind on the decision in the days leading up to his farewell. He even formulated an insane strategy if he had the chance to take a penalty in the match.
From ESPN FC:
“He was nervous all week,” Jesus told Porto Alegre-based station Radio Atlantida. “One day he would say, ‘I’m quitting,’ and the next he would be, ‘I’m going to keep playing.’ Before Roma-Genoa, we all got together in the dressing room and he said, ‘If I get a penalty, I won’t score it, I’ll kick the ball into the Curva [Sud].’
“There wasn’t a penalty so instead he sent an autographed ball into the Curva after the game. Totti is a fantastic person and he deserves far more than just that party. He’s somebody who helps those in need a lot, without anybody needing to know about it.”
Now, it’s important to remember that this match had serious implications for Roma behind Totti’s sendoff. They were still battling Napoli for second place in Serie A and an automatic place in the Champions League group stage. They only won that decisive match against Genoa by a 3–2 margin on a Diego Perotti goal in the 90th minute. So Totti blasting a penalty into the stands in this situation would’ve been absolutely bananas.
And people thought John Terry orchestrating a guard of honor upon his substitution in the 26th minute of his final (far less meaningful) match was crazy.