Francesco Totti was always destined to break records for Roma. His longevity and technical ability meant he would achieve several landmarks that others couldn’t match.
Over the course of his lengthy career, he set many records that will stand the test of time, some unlikely to ever be broken. His records weren’t only about Roma though; he set new highs for Italian football, and even European football as a whole.
He managed to equal some landmarks, such as Roberto Baggio and Alberto Gilardino’s tally of scoring against 38 different teams in Serie A, and Paolo Maldini’s record of playing in the most consecutive Serie A seasons, 25. But often, Totti went above and beyond what others had achieved. Here are 10 records he holds outright.
Roma’s all-time leading appearance maker
Totti represented his only club a remarkable 786 times. He was captain for over half of those games in his extraordinary 25-season spell. The previous record was held by legendary defender Giacomo Losi, who represented the club 455 times. Totti overtook Losi in 2008, and went on to smash the record. Playing for nearly 10 more years beyond breaking the record, Totti set a total that will be practically impossible to beat.
Roma’s all-time top scorer
No player in history has scored even half the number of goals for Roma that Francesco Totti has. Roberto Pruzzo was a goal machine for Roma in the 1980s, but Totti eclipsed his achievements by a huge margin. In total, Totti scored 307 goals in all competitions for Roma – more than the club’s two next highest scorers, Pruzzo and Amedeo Amadei, combined. It’s another record of his that will surely stand the test of time.
Roma’s all-time top scorer in UEFA competitions
Totti certainly turned up for the big occasions. Despite Roma’s fairly inconsistent record in Europe over the course of his career, Totti was always among the goals. He scored 38 goals for the club across the Champions League and UEFA Cup/Europa League, including a goal against Real Madrid on his UCL debut in 2001, showing he could handle the pressure against the biggest opponents.
Most goals for a single Serie A club
Only Silvio Piola scored more goals in Serie A than Totti. However, the crucial difference is that Piola scored for several clubs, whereas all of Totti’s 250 league goals came in a Roma shirt. It’s a figure that goes to show just how much Totti gave to the colours he loved. Closest to Totti in the list of players to score the most Serie A goals for one club is ex-Roma striker Gunnar Nordahl, who notched 210 times for AC Milan. Totti beat Nordahl’s record in 2012, and set the bar even higher.
Most consecutive seasons with a goal in Serie A
When Totti scored against Sampdoria towards the start of the 2016-17 season, his last campaign as a player, it meant he had scored at least one goal in the last 23 consecutive seasons. His first goal had come in September 1994, and after that, he never stopped finding the back of the net. The penalty against Sampdoria was his penultimate Serie A goal, but he made sure to have an impact right until his final few weeks on the pitch.
Youngest club captain of a Serie A side
When Aldair vacated the Roma captaincy in 1997, there was only really one candidate. Totti only had six seasons of Serie A experience under his belt, but he was the man to lead the side forward on the pitch, the epitome of everything it meant to be a Romanista. At the age of 22, Totti became the youngest ever club captain of a Serie A side, and kept hold of the armband right until his retirement nearly 20 years later.
Most penalties scored in Serie A
Totti didn’t just break records for Roma, but for Italian football too. He is the record holder of the most penalties scored in Serie A – and he achieved it in a dramatic way, too. Roma were playing Torino on 20th April 2016, and were losing when the veteran was brought on. Within five minutes he turned the game on its head. He had already bagged the equaliser after latching onto a free kick, before he remarkably won the game with a penalty. It was the 69th spot kick he had scored in Serie A, overtaking Roberto Baggio’s record of 68. Totti scored two more penalties before the end of his career to set the bar at 71.
All-time leading scorer in Serie A Rome derbies
This is another prime example of Totti choosing the perfect occasion to break a record. Roma were trailing 2-0 in the Derby against Lazio at half time. They needed two goals to salvage something from the game, and coincidentally, Totti also needed two goals to equal Dino Da Costa’s record of being the all-time leading scorer in the Derby Della Capitale. Those goals would also make Totti the outright top scorer in Serie A derbies, taking his tally to 11. The script was written, and Totti delivered. After pulling one back early in the second half, Totti also clinched an equaliser, diving for the ball at the backpost and volleying it across goal and into the back of the net. He grabbed a mobile phone, turned his back to the Curva Sud, and took the most iconic selfie in football history.
Oldest scorer in Champions League
Totti was still contributing so much in the twilight of his career, that he actually broke this record twice. He initially broke it in a group stage match against Manchester City in 2014, chipping Joe Hart to equalise in a 1-1 draw, three days after he had turned 38. Then, three weeks later, he extended the record in a win over CSKA Moscow. His free kick meant he had scored in the Champions League aged 38 years and 59 days.
Oldest Roma player in Serie A
Serie A is a league renowned for the longevity of its players, with it not uncommon for players to play late into their thirties. Totti went beyond that. When he stepped onto the turf for the final time against Genoa on 28th May 2017, he wrote his name in the record books as Roma’s oldest ever player. He was 40 years, eight months and one day old when he played for his beloved team for one last time. Once again, this was another record he had broken several times. The next oldest Roma player in the league was Morgan De Sanctis, whose final game came at the age of 38 years, eight months and three days. Totti eclipsed him by two whole years.
Many of these records may never be broken. Totti’s influence and contribution went far beyond what the average player gives. When you consider how many more goals he scored than Pruzzo, or how many more times he played for the club than Daniele De Rossi or Giacomo Losi, two long-serving one-club men, it makes you realise there will probably never be another player like Totti. A player who prided himself on high standards, and while he may not have won as many trophies as he deserved to, he certainly has the figures to prove how good he was.