Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Francesco Totti (born 27 September 1976 in Rome) is an Italian football player, who currently plays for AS Roma in Serie A and the Italian national team. A maker as well as a scorer of goals - not least from free kicks - Francesco Totti can operate from a variety of attacking positions but it is in the free role behind the strikers that his magnificent skill and technique are best showcased.
Totti was born in Rome, in the San Giovanni section of the city. His parents are Enzo and Fiorella Totti. Totti played football throughout his childhood. He first joined the junior team for AS Roma in 1989.
Hugely talented as a teenager, Totti scored in Italy's 4-1 defeat by Spain in the final of the UEFA European Under-18 Championship in July 1995. In the final of the Under-21 competition in 1996, Totti opening the scoring in a 1-1 draw against the Spanish before triumphing on penalties. Totti made his senior Azzurri debut in the Euro 2000 qualifying victory against Switzerland on 10 October 1998. He played in the finals tournament and scored against Romania and Belgium and played in the finals, losing to France. More disappointment followed at the 2002 World Cup, with Totti failing to make a significant impact and then being sent off as Italy lost to the Korean Republic in the second round.
At Euro 2004, Totti garnered negative media attention when he spat at Christian Poulsen, a midfielder for Denmark who had marked him for the whole match. Totti was subsequently banned until the semi-finals, but did not play in the tournament again, as Italy failed to qualify for the next round.
Totti was just 16 when he made his first appearance for AS Roma in a 2-0 away victory at Brescia Calcio on March 28, 1993. He scored four goals in 21 outings in 1994/95 and over the ensuing seasons became a team regular. He was named Italy's Player of the Year in 2000. The following season (2000/1) he helped AS Roma secure their first league title since 1983, having scored 13 Serie A goals. Unhappily, in the 2001/02 campaign Roma finished runners-up to Juventus, but Totti returned with a personal-best of 14 goals during the 2002/3 season.
2003/04: Playing in a more advanced role, Totti hit a career-high 20 goals as Roma finished second in Serie A.
A goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, Totti allowed two books to be published containing jokes made at his expense to raise money for the children's charity. He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.
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