For you who coached him when he was still young, from age 23 to 27, what type of player is Francesco Totti?
Francesco Totti is an extraordinary player, comparable with modern-day stars such as Messi and Neymar, famous worldwide for what he has done and continues to do. What marks him out, besides his class on the pitch, has been his close attention, starting at a certain point of his career, to leading a healthy life off the pitch, a level of attention thinks to which he can still play today, at the age of 40.
If he had always had this essential knowledge about the best diet to follow and if when very young he had led an even healthier lifestyle than the one he already did, in your view could he have been an even greater player?
No. When I coached him he was still very young and at that age it is much simpler to recover, so you can afford to break the rules every now and again, especially for a player with his physique and class. His stroke of genius was to understand that as the years passed it would be necessary to follow a particular type of diet and training regime in order stay in peak physical condition.
Francesco Totti won the championship with you. In addition, that year Totti scored the first goal in Roma-Parma (2001) against Buffon, the last match of the championship.
Today they are both still playing in Italy’s top league, what do you think about that?
It is interesting to see that both are still important players in the Serie A championship. Without doubt they are two champions.
And if you had taken Totti with you to Madrid?
Totti has won a lot in his career: with Roma (one championship, two Super Cups and two Italian Cups), with Italy (a World Cup) and also some individual awards. If he had agreed to come with me to Real Madrid, he could have won other important trophies.