On 9th and 10th of March, two European greats played their last matches at European stage. They are John Terry and Francesco Totti, at London and Madrid. Club of both the players are out for this season in Champions League. Chelsea has refused to extend the contract of Terry for the next season and for Totti, the extension is doubtful.
Both the players have a lot of similarities. Born in London and Rome respectively, Terry is called King of London while the latter as King of Rome. Both started their youth career for the same club, promoted to senior division of the same, remained loyal to it and ended their career there as well. By far, Terry has played about 500 matches for Chelsea whereas Totti has played about 750 matches for Giallorossi.
Totti’s career is not full of trophies. In majors, he has Scudetto (2000-01) and World cup (2006) in his cabinet. He finished as runner-up in Serie A on 8 occasions. On the other hand, Terry has many trophies to show. He achieved everything from the club, including UEFA Champions League (11-12), Europa Cup (12-12), 5 FA cups and 4 Premier League titles.
Long careers have a lot of stories. He saw the reign of many coaches and has both sweet and sour memories at Stamford bridge. Lowest point in Terry’s career was his penalty miss against Man Utd in the shoot out at Moscow. It gave opponents the lifeline and eventually the title. But, he remained instrumental in Blues success stories. He rubbed shoulders with Duff, Gudjonsson, Lampard, Etto, Drogba, Costa, Hazard etc along the years in London. His odd relationship with wife hit the headlines also but he overcome all those emotional difficulties and bounced back.
Totti declared his retirement from International soccer after World Cup win in 2006. He rejected offers from a lot of clubs which includes Real Madrid and Barcelona. He played with many Italian greats like Maldini, Nesta, Pirlo, Del Pierro, Buffon for Azzurris. He played an instrumental role in Italy’s 4th World cup win. Whenever he was injured and not been able to play on the field, banners of fans citing ‘No Totti, No Party’ were very common. He became the oldest scorer in UEFA Champions League history when he scored against Man City. Right now, his relationship with coach Luciano Spalletti is not smooth and possibly, he might not get the extension in Roma shirt. Club has already decided to retire his ‘No. 10’ shirt in his honour. Mardonna, Platinil, Modric, and Messi have expressed their views on him as one of the greatest Italian players.
In today’s world where loyalty is shrinking, money is everything, both of these players are an exception and role model. Both played for one club only and on the field presented style, grace, and more importantly character. The World will remember both of them as one of the greats of English and Italian soccer.
Author – Vijay Anand
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