Remember last season when coach Luciano Spalletti came in midway through the campaign and dropped Francesco Totti to the bench? It seemed then that the end was close for the Roma legend.
Not so fast.
Totti is 39 and has developed into a rather useful super-sub, as he proved again against Sampdoria. Brought on in torrential conditions with his side 2-1 down, his wonderful through-ball, a first-time volley over the top of the defense, set up Edin Dzeko’s equalizer, before he stood over a penalty to win the game on 93 minutes.
“That was the first time I've ever felt afraid of taking a penalty,” he said after coolly converting the spot kick.
He has now scored five goals and set up three more in his last eight appearances, with Sunday’s goal ensuring he has scored in Serie A for 23 seasons running. Incredible!
Sampdoria's president, film director Massimo Ferrero, was not so enamoured. He suggested that Dzeko had dived for the spot kick.
“What an actor he is, I will have to get him for one of my comedy films,” he told the press after the game.
The newspapers, however, took a different approach.
"The Totti flag is flying" ran Gazzetta dello Sport while Corriere dello Sport’s front page had Totti asking: “And I’m supposed to retire?”
He turns 40 in three weeks, but is clearly showing that age is just a number.