Real Madrid President Florentino Perez confirms he tried to sign Francesco Totti but “he told me he couldn’t move from Roma”.
Er Pupone spent his entire career with the Giallorossi before retiring last season, but his loyalty wasn’t for a lack of offers.
“Totti is one of the legends that everyone wanted,” Perez told Gazzetta dello Sport’s Extra Time supplement.
“Before 2006, at the beginning of my Presidency, I phoned him and asked him to come, but he told me couldn’t move from Roma.”
Madrid hold a 3-0 lead from their Champions League first leg with Juventus, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a goal which drew applause from the Bianconeri support.
“What happened in Turin was very emotional, and it shows the greatness of Juve and their fans.
“Cristiano’s goal was one of the best in history, a wonderful goal by the best player in the world.”
Even Gigi Buffon praised him…
“Buffon is a luxury for world football,” Perez said.
“That’s due to his talent, professionalism and respect for his opponents. Everyone would like to have a great like him.”
Santiago Bernabéu won six European Cups as Real Madrid President, with Perez on four – is the aim to surpass the legendary President?
“Yes, because Bernabéu is a point of reference and we want to follow his path. In 2000, FIFA named us the best club of the 21st Century, we’re working to receive that same recognition in the 21st.
“Nobody has won five consecutive European Cups and no-one has won back-to-back Champions Leagues like us.
“The 12 trophies update our legend, and that’s why whenever the Champions League anthem is played, Madridistas from all over the world feel something special.”
Perez was also asked if Zinedine Zidane has surprised him more as a player or as a Coach.
“Zidane opened this era. The ninth trophy came with him, with a new style of play which conquered the world. As a Coach he’s won like no-one else in Madrid – eight trophies in two years.
“He’s a football genius and he’s shown it on the pitch and on the bench.
“In 2002, after he scored the goal in Glasgow which won the trophy he said to me: ‘Do you see Presidente that I’m not bad luck?’. It burned him to have lost two consecutive finals with Juve.
“Would we like to play Barcelona in the final this year? The important thing is to get to the final.
“It could happen, because I’d imagine we’ll play Bayern first, because we always play them.
“If we get Barça in the final though, I remember that this year we already beat them twice to win the European Super Cup, 3-1 there and 2-0 here.
“First though we have to eliminate Juve.”