Prolific Totti back to his scoring tricks with Giallorossi
Posted: Monday October 22, 2007 11:58AM; Updated: Monday October 22, 2007 12:22PM
Francesco Totti is a big reason AS Roma is a contender in both Serie A and the Champions League. The Roman native has spent his entire 14-year career at the club and has become one of the most lethal scorers in the world. And even though he has retired from the Italian national team with a World Cup title under his belt, he's still giving club competition fits. World Soccer recently caught up with the 31-year-old striker.
World Soccer: Did you ever think before last season that you would win the ESM Golden Shoe as the top scorer of Europe's major leagues?
Totti: No, never. I am a typical No. 10, more the person to set up goals than to score them. Because of Roma's system and because we were without a really prolific striker, I moved up front. But to be honest, I like scoring more than providing assists.
World Soccer: At what point did you think about winning the trophy last season?
Totti: I didn't even think about after the Italian season had ended because there were still some games left in Spain and Ruud van Nistelrooy had a good chance to win it. [He ended up with 25 goals for Real Madrid, one fewer than Totti.]
World Soccer: Is it significant that you, as a No. 10, won the Golden Shoe and not a typical striker?
Totti: Football has changed in recent years. To score goals as a striker is much more difficult than in the past. You have to be very strong and a complete player to score against strong defenders. The No. 10 has become more important but it is not the same No. 10 as in the days of Diego Maradona and Michel Platini.
World Soccer: Why are you scoring so many goals now, as opposed to recent seasons?
Totti: The season before last I was injured and I missed many games. Before that I played more like a midfielder, making assists.
World Soccer: You could have won the Golden Shoe much more easily; you missed six penalties.
Totti: It was better to miss because otherwise the end of the season would not have been as exciting and a little predictable! I'll carry on taking the penalties.
World Soccer: Who are your favorites for this season's Golden Shoe?
Totti: David Trézéguet of Juventus is a real candidate, and Luca Toni is dangerous, too; he can score a lot of goals for Bayern Munich. But I will give it a try, too. In terms of Serie A, I have more chance of finishing top scorer again because as well as Toni's departure, Cristiano Lucarelli has left for Shakhtar Donetsk and Rolando Bianchi went to Manchester City.