Francesco Totti has been sent home by Roma ahead of their Serie A game against Palermo after demanding to be shown more respect by the club.
Totti has spent his entire career at Roma, scoring 293 goals in 721 appearances for his hometown club, but the 39-year-old has started only two games for the Giallorossi this season.
He missed three months with a thigh injury but is fully fit now and has expressed his unhapiness with the amount of gametime he is getting under Luciano Spalletti having appeared only as an 87th-minute substitute in the club’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid earlier this week.
“I still feel like a player who is physically in good shape and I want to play,” Totti told Rai. “The injury is behind me now and if I don’t play it is purely down to a tactical decision.
“I can’t stay at Roma like this. It hurts to be on the bench. I understand at my age that I play less, but ending my career like this is bad for me as a man and what I’ve given to Roma. I demand more respect for all I’ve done here.
“What is my rapport like with Spalletti? We say ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening.’ That’s it. He said such nice things in the papers, but not to my face.
“I respect him as a coach and think he has what it takes to remain at Roma.”
He added: “My contract expires in June, I await news from [club president James] Pallotta and will evaluate the situation.
“I expect the fairness of people telling me the reality of the situation and how things really are.”