Wednesday, July 20, 2016

20 July 2007 - Totti Gave Tutti

On 20 July 2007, midfielder Francesco Totti formally announced his retirement from the Italian national team, leaving them with 58 caps and one World Cup trophy.

Totti joined the senior side in 1998 after winning the UEFA U-21 European Championship two years earlier. He proved instrumental in Italy's Euro 2000 campaign and was named man of the match for the final, despite losing to France. His next two major tournaments did not go as well, with Totti getting ejected in Italy's second-round loss to South Korea in the 2002 World Cup, then receiving a three-match ban after spitting on Denmark's Christian Poulsen in the opening match of Euro 2004 as Italy were eliminated in the group stage.

He almost missed the 2006 World Cup after fracturing his fibula in February 2006, but recovered from the injury in time and played in every match for Italy. He started every match except against Australia in the Round of 16, where he came on as a substitute to score the match-winning goal from the penalty spot in the 5th minute of stoppage time. His performances earned him a spot on the tournament's All-Star team.

He debated retiring from international duty after the World Cup, but held off on the decision for over a year before finally stepping down to concentrate on his upcoming Serie A season with Roma. Although Totti suffered a season-ending knee injury in June 2007, Roma went on to win the Coppa Italia, making Totti the most successful captain in club history.

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