Francesco Totti’s final season is off to a less than ideal start. Porto beat Roma 4–1 on aggregate in Champions League qualifying and Totti didn’t make it off the bench in either leg of the tie. During the final minutes of the second leg, with Roma down to nine men after red cards to Daniele De Rossi and Emerson in the first hour of play, Totti’s displeasure with his status as an unused substitute was evident as he stopped warming up and leaned on corner flag, staring daggers at the pitch.
This has become an all too familiar sight during Roma’s first three matches of Totti’s farewell season. Here he is during the first leg against Porto:
And during their Serie A opener against Udinese (which Roma won 4–0):
Maybe this isn’t a grave injustice against a departing club legend, though. Maybe this is all part of Roma’s plan to convince Totti to stay on for another three or four years. If you preserve him on the bench, then, in theory, he can remain a Roma player forever, right? Right?!?!