Sunday, 21 January 2007

Totti temper under spotlight

Francesco Totti’s maturity has been called into question again after he was sent off and shoved personal trainer Vito Scala to the ground.

The Roma captain reacted angrily to a clash with Fabio Galante in the final moments of today’s 1-1 draw at Livorno.

The referee looked set to book both players, but when he repeatedly called Totti over to receive the yellow and he refused to move, the card was switched to red.

Furious at the situation, the World Cup winner continued to argue and as he was led away by personal trainer Scala, pushed the older man to the ground.

“Has he apologised? What for?” said Scala after the final whistle. “My friendship with Francesco is not in the balance due to this incident, nor have there ever been any problems between us. We have always had a great rapport.”

The fitness Coach has long been Totti’s right hand man and he always insists on having him with him, even with the Italy squad.

“In moments of need, that is when your friends have to stay close, otherwise it’s too easy. Our relationship goes beyond mere work. He has had a tough week as a cousin is in hospital in a serious condition, we’ve been through bad and good times together.”

Scala also attempted to suggest it was his fault he fell after Totti twice shoved him in the chest. “I slipped, as there was a patch of synthetic grass on the sidelines. The respect and rapport between us are by no means compromised. How can he make up for it? By scoring two goals in the next game.”

Quite when that will be depends on the referee’s report and the Disciplinary Commission, as if Totti receives more than the regulation one-match ban, he could miss the Week 22 Scudetto showdown at Inter.

Coach Luciano Spalletti was more critical of his captain after his ninth sending off – the most red-carded player in Roma’s Serie A history.

“Scala is the person he feels closest to in the world other than his mother, so it was an ugly gesture,” said the tactician. His reaction was an angry one and he could’ve avoided this dismissal. However, if Totti was carded for that incident when Galante should’ve gone too.”

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