homenewsTwo captains

2010-01-22Two captains

Since I put on the captain band on my arm, before every match I've been repeating the same gesture. It is a part of a routine, one of these pre-game rituals that accompany last seconds before the kick-off. Greeting the referee,  exchanging pennants, shaking hands with the opposite team captain. Gestures that have become automatic , repetitious, for somebody even superstitious, when you can't help but think only about what will happen later. But if I stop to think about the value of these moments, it becomes clear that they are far from being banal. Above all on the eve of the match like this one, when on the other side, wearing a captain band on his arm, there's a player like Francesco Totti. 
If we put together our goals scored, they'll be over 500. If we sum up the years of career, wearing the same shirt - it comes up to 35. A life.
The same could have been said about my games against Paolo Maldini. I'm sure that the concept of the flag, of the society symbol, of the team, and of the supporters doesn't exist if then you don't fill every day with contents on and off the pitch. That's why for me it has always been and it is still an honor to meet players like these. Francesco and I were team mates in the National team, and I want to stress  it out, team mates and not rivals. We are very different, but we have also a lot of things in common. We won the World Championship together and those memories unite us forever. But with our clubs, we were, we are and we will  always be opponents.
That's why I think that the champion can become stronger also by meeting great opponents on his way. And that's why I'll be happy tomorrow to shake hands with Francesco.


Ps. On this occasion we put up a video on Adp tv, that has become You Tube cult.  If I think back, I can't help, but laugh… Do you remember, Francesco?

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