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 By Terry Daley

Roma legend Francesco Totti: 40 things to know on his 40th birthday

Francesco Totti turns 40 today. So here are 40 things about the Italy and Roma legend.

Personal life

1. Forty years old, but ever in step with the times, Totti will celebrate his birthday live on his new Facebook page.

2. Totti's marriage to TV presenter and former showgirl Ilary Blasi in 2005 was national news. When Totti arrived at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven on top of the Capitoline Hill, he was greeted with chants from fans and a banner that read "pride of Rome."

3. Among the guests at his wedding were Antonio Cassano and Roma legend Bruno Conti, while then-Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni took part in the ceremony

4. Totti has three children: Cristian, Chanel and Isabel.

5. Son Cristian, 10, plays in the Roma youth set-up, and scored in his first Rome derby in 2014.

6. Totti's heavy Roman accent has frequently led to him being mocked for being "stupid." His work for children's charities led to him publishing two self-deprecating books about his supposed lack of brains: "Every Totti Joke, Collected by Me" and "Every New Totti Joke, Still Collected by Me."

7. Totti then brought that stereotype to the small screen with a series of cringeworthy Vodafone adverts with wife Ilary. 

8. Like so many regular Roman (and Italian families), the Tottis spend large chunks of every summer in the same place -- Sabaudia, 90 kilometres south of Rome, where the paparazzi try and pick up some money-spinning snaps.

9. After captaining Roma to just their third Scudetto ever in 2001, Totti went to one of the city's most famous tattoo artists to have a Roman gladiator depicted on his right arm. Similar tattoos were much en vogue in Rome following the 2000 film Gladiator.

10. His exploits for Roma have inspired a particular kind of devotion in his fans. The kind that sees them get a tattoo of him across their entire back.

11. He can't sing.

12. Totti's mother-in-law Daniela Serafini became a Rome traffic cop in 2007, at the age of 50.

Early years

Francesco Totti
Totti was just 16 when he made his debut.

13. Totti is the symbol of Roma, but was close to joining Lazio as a 12-year-old when his youth club Lodigiani agreed a deal with Roma's city rivals.

14. "When you are a kid in Rome, there are only two possible choices: You are either red or blue. AS Roma or Lazio. But in our family, there was only one possible choice."

15. Totti's thumb in mouth goal celebration comes from his nickname "Er Pupone" (big kid), which was given to him by journalist Domenico Ferretti when he was still a young prospect.

16. He made his Roma debut at just 16 years old in March 1993. His first goal came came two years later in an otherwise humdrum 1-1 draw against Foggia.

17. He brought the False No. 9 position back into popularity when Luciano Spalletti shifted him from traditional No. 10 to lone striker in 2005. The pioneering move coincided with the best football of Totti's career.

18. Totti won the European Golden Shoe following the 26 league goals he scored as a False No. 9 in the 2006-07 season, his best league return to date.

19. His total return that year was 32 thanks to the two goals scored in the Coppa Italia and four in the Champions League, which Roma only qualified for thanks to being awarded second place following the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal.

Serie A rivals

20. Few things please Roma fans more than beating Juventus, and if you get to mock their fans when 4-0 up, so much the better.

21. However, taking the mickey out of Lazio is even better, especially if when its in T-shirt form.

22. How many teams have a captain who can say they've done this at the San Siro?


Italy's Francesco Totti lifts the 2006 World Cup
Totti lifted the World Cup in 2006.

23. Totti missed the final of the 1993 UEFA European Under-16 Championship in Turkey through suspension, but after playing at U17 and U18 level he won the U21 European Championship in 1996 against Spain on penalties.

24. He earned his first senior cap for Italy against Switzerland on Oct. 10, 1998. And scored his first international goal in a 2-0 friendly win over Portugal on April 26, 2000.

25. One of his most famous moments in an Italy shirt was telling a worried Luigi Di Biagio, just before stepping up for his penalty shootout effort against Netherlands' Edwin Van der Sar in the Euro 2000 semifinals, "don't worry, I'll chip him."

26. His crowning glory was winning the 2006 World Cup with Italy and being named in the tournament's All-Star team.

27. Totti retired from international football at just 30 years old in June 2007. He scored nine goals in 58 appearances.


Francesco Totti netted his 250th Serie A goal for Roma
The forward is still scoring goals to this day.

28. Totti overtook Roberto Pruzzo to become Roma's all-time leading goalscorer in Serie A after scoring his 107th league goal against Parma in December 2004. Twelve years ago.

29. He is also Roma's all-time goalscorer in all competitions, hitting the net 306 times in total.

30. Totti became the youngest captain in Serie A history when he donned the Roma armband for the first time on Oct. 31, 1998 at the age of 22 years, one month and four days. Mauro Icardi missed out on Totti's title by five months when he took over as Inter Milan captain last season.

31. Totti is Serie A's leading active goalscorer with 250 strikes and is a whopping 62 goals ahead of his nearest challenger, Alberto Gilardino.

32. The No. 10 also has a better goals-per-game strike rate (0.41) than anyone in the current active top 10 bar Juventus' Gonzalo Higuain (0.69).

33. Totti's late penalty against Sampdoria earlier in the month made him the first player to score in 23 consecutive Serie A seasons.

34. His 250 goals puts him second in the league's all-time scoring chart, just 24 behind Silvio Piola.

Worldwide fame

Totti is a hero to all Roma fans.

35. Totti's famous selfie celebration after scoring the equaliser in the 2015 Rome Derby with Lazio was included in the goal celebrations available in FIFA 16 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2016.

36. He has featured in every FIFA video game since the series introduced real players in FIFA 96, alongside Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon.

37. This photo of Totti and fellow Roman Daniele De Rossi kissing the World Cup became an icon for Romanisti

38. Totti was immortalised in this mural in the Monti Rione of Rome following Roma's 2001 Scudetto triumph. Its significance is such that when defaced by Lazio fans, it's always cleaned up.

39. The Porta Metronia neighbourhood Totti grew up in one-upped them with this 2014 mega-mural depicting him in his later years.

40. Without Totti, there can be no party.

Terry is based in Rome and is ESPN FC's AS Roma blogger. Twitter: @T_Daley


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