Former Italy striker Francesco Totti on Thursday said accepting the end of a legendary footballing career was tough.
He told newsmen that “at the beginning, I was talking to myself like a madman, I’m injured, I’m suspended, I’ll be back in a kit soon, though I’ve got used to it now.”
Totti said he struggled with switching off from a routine of “waking up early, having breakfast and then going to training, like a machine.
“Now I have to plan my days. The impact has not been easy, though I still train every day to let off a bit of steam and to stay fit.
“If I let myself go, I’ll go up to 300 kilogrammes, for now, I’ve put on at most a couple.”
The 41-year-old hung up his boots in May, breaking down in tears after a 3-2 home win against Genoa that sealed his 25-year playing career with Roma, his boyhood club.
He has no regrets at turning down offers from Real Madrid, the Emirates and the United States.
“I would have made lots of money, but I would have ruined a 25-year-old love affair with Roma,’’ he said.
Totti said that out of current stars he prefers Lionel Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo, and singled out tennis champion Roger Federer as his sporting hero, who “does not even sweat when he plays.”
If Roma, currently in fourth position, do not win the league this season, Totti said he fancied Serie A leaders Napoli, because he liked the idea of the Scudetto going to a southern Italian club.
He also said that starting out a new career as a coach was not a “priority now,” aside from following the football career of his 12-year-old son, Cristian.
“I let him do his thing and I don’t say anything to him. In about three or four years, I’ll see what he’s truly made of,’’ Totti said, who became a professional player at 16.