Francesco Totti: Roma coach Luciano Spalletti irritated by focus on Giallorossi icon

Francesco Totti
Totti has helped Roma win one Serie A title and two Coppa Italia trophies, as well as being part of Italy's 2006 World Cup winning squad

Luciano Spalletti says he would not have returned to coach Roma had he known he would be constantly quizzed about Francesco Totti's playing time.

Totti, 40, will retire at the end of the season after scoring 307 goals in 783 games since his debut in 1993.

Totti was denied a farewell appearance at the San Siro when Spalletti, who rejoined Roma last year, did not bring him on in a 4-1 win against AC Milan.

"I must manage Totti the footballer," said Spalletti after criticism.

Second-placed Roma were leading 3-1 against Milan when Spalletti decided to bring on Brazilian defender Bruno Peres - his third and final substitution - for the final five minutes.

Francesco Totti
Italian football journalist James Horncastle described the reaction of both sets of fans to Totti not coming on

And questions about why Totti was not introduced left Spalletti clearly irritated in his post-match news conference.

"If I could go back in time, I would never have come to coach Roma," said the 58-year-old, who also managed the Giallorossi between 2005 and 2009.

"When I bring him on for the last five minutes you say I'm making a fool of him and I lack respect. Let's take the time to agree on what I should do.

"When I took over, I said that it's not for me to manage Totti's legacy.

"Next time, we'll form a co-operative. We'll have a collective vote and the ones who get the most votes will play."

Totti has made 15 Serie A appearances for Roma this season, but has only made one start with the other 14 coming from the bench.

The Giallorossi have three matches left this season, with the final game of the season - at home to Genoa on 28 May - set to be Totti's farewell.

Francesco Totti
Tancredi Palmeri, another Italian football journalist, made his feelings about Spalletti's decision known on Twitter...
Francesco Totti

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