Arrivederci Capitano: Totti to play emotional final Roma game
Although he will start on the bench, Luciano Spalletti has promised to give Totti the send-off Rome demands for it's last gladiator.
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti will leave sentimentality to one side against Genoa as his attempts to steer his team to Champions League direct qualification with Napoli in pursuit despite the occasion threatening to overhwlm the Stadio Olimpico.
Roma legend Francesco Totti will make his final appearance for the club on Sunday two and a half decades after his debut but Spalletti insisted clinching second place in Serie A remains the priority.
A sold-out Stadio Olimpico is set to bid farewell to Totti, 40, but the outpouring of adulation will have to wait until the second half: as he has done for most of this season, Spalletti is set to start Totti on the bench and give the club legend a substitute's appearance in the second half.
Spalletti: "The biggest threat are distractions"
"The biggest threat for us tomorrow are the distractions caused by the game," Spalletti told media on Saturday.
"What kind of party will it be if we don't get the three points? We have to think about winning first and foremost."
A second-place finish will guarantee Roma a place in the group stages of next season's Champions League, but would represent their ninth runners-up spot since winning the Serie A title for the last time, in 2001.
But Spalletti, who has been linked to the vacant coach's position at Inter Milan following the recent sacking of Stefano Pioli, said he won't rain on Totti's parade.
"He will play a good portion of the game, the most important part," he added.
Before Sunday's outing, Totti has racked up 784 appearances for Roma, 618 of which have been in Serie A.
Although Roma won only one of their three league titles in Totti's time at the club, he has scored 307 goals for Roma, 250 of which came in Serie A.