Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez has revealed how he made an attempt to sign Francesco Totti from Roma before the 2006-07 season but was turned down by the Roma legend.
Totti, who retired at the end of last season after 25 seasons with Roma, turned down the chance to play for Real Madrid out of loyalty to his club.
‘Totti is one of the legends that everyone wanted,’ Perez told Gazzetta dello Sport. ‘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.’
The Roma icon also revealed how close he came to joining Madrid and admitting his regret that he never played for the Spanish giants.
‘I never thought about money, otherwise I would have left aged 26 when Madrid and Barcelona wanted me,’ Totti told Sky Sports back in 2012.
But after receiving a standing ovation from Madrid supporters during their clash in the Champions League in 2016, Totti conceded that he would have loved to play in the famous white shirt of Los Blancos.
‘The Santiago Bernabeu is an amazing stadium. Real Madrid are my only regret,’ Totti told Mediaset. ‘It was very emotional to get such a warm welcome. This is a great memory for me.’