Rome: Italian football legend Francesco Totti has admitted that 12 years ago he had thought of leaving the capital club to join Real Madrid, however, he preferred to remain in Rome, where he has played since 1989.
In a letter published on Thursday on The Players Tribune website, the 39-year-old wrote: "There was even a moment 12 years ago when I thought about leaving Roma for Real Madrid. When a very successful team, perhaps the strongest in the world, asks you to join, you start to think about what life might be like elsewhere.
"I had talks with the president of Roma, and that made a difference. But in the end, the talk I had with my family reminded me what life is about," Totti recalled.
The Roma skipper, who recently announced that 2016-17 will be his last season, revealed that AC Milan wanted to sign him at any cost.
"When I was 13, there was a knock at our door. The men from AC Milan were asking me to join their football club — an opportunity to make it with a big Italian club. What would I choose? Well, it was not my decision, of course," the 2006 World Cup winner revealed.
"My mamma was the boss. She still is the boss. And she was rather attached to her boys, let's say. Like any Italian mother, she was a little overprotective. She did not want me to leave home for fear that something might happen," said Totti, who has played 58 times for Italy.
The playmaker also remembered the first time he played for his home town team, and how proud he was, and still is, to play for Roma for 25 years.
"Rome is my family, my friends, the people that I love. Rome is the sea, the mountains, the monuments. Rome, of course, is the Romans. Rome is the yellow and red. Rome, to me, is the world. This club, this city, has been my life," he concluded.